18 August 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will help households and businesses get a better deal on their power prices – overhauling electricity offers available to consumers and scrapping outdated deals so Australians pay less for their power.  

Labor’s plan means households can save up to $165 per year from their energy bill, and the average small business customer can save up to $1500 per year.
Labor will introduce a new regulated capped offer to the market - protecting families and SMEs from price gouging – and will force energy retailers to introduce simple, honest and transparent pricing so consumers can find the best deal.
Currently, electricity retailers offer a range of products in different markets – including “standing” and “market” offers. Over time, energy retailers have abused standing offers, treating them as a high-price benchmark and implementing confusing discounting schemes that make it hard for consumers to find the best deal.
That’s why Labor will work with the states to implement recommendation 30 of the ACCC Retail Electricity Price inquiry, and:

·         Abolish outdated standing offers (which are not the same between retailers), and replace them with a new ‘default’ offer consistent across all retailers.
·         Require retailers to reference any discounts to the new ‘default’ offer pricing, making it easier for consumers to genuinely compare offers and save money by finding the best deal for them. 

1.2 million households will directly benefit from the plan – with household customers currently on the standing offers estimated to save up to $165 off their annual electricity bill, and the average small business customer on a standing offer to save up to $1500 per year, according to the ACCC.
Importantly, all consumers will benefit from increased transparency, simpler bills and downward pressure on prices.
The default offer will apply where a standing offer is currently used, for both households and businesses. This includes when a consumer moves residence but fails to choose a market offer from their retailer, or when an existing offer expires and the consumer fails to choose a new market offer. It will also be available for all customers, as an easy option that will prevent them from being overcharged.
The default price will be set independently in each jurisdiction, and the Australian Energy Regulator will be tasked with working with the states, the ACCC, agencies, industry and unions to deliver these reforms which will apply in non-price regulated NEM jurisdictions –  Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and south east Queensland. 
These reforms build on Labor’s existing plans for cheaper bills and cleaner energy. We’re committed to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, designating Renewable Energy Zones across the country, and making the electricity market work for households and business.
Malcolm Turnbull is too out of touch and the Liberals are too divided to tackle the power price crisis. Instead of acting, Malcolm Turnbull has politely asked the big energy companies to do the right thing – and wants to give them a huge tax handout at the same time.
For five years, they have done nothing to fix this crisis of their own making. All we’ve seen from the Liberals is a national energy policy vacuum, handshake agreements with big business and a war on renewables – the cheapest source of new energy.
A capped power price deal. Simpler pricing. Only Labor can be trusted to give consumers a fair go when it comes to energy prices.