Energy Consumers Australia today welcomed initiatives from the Prime Minister’s meeting with energy CEOs and urged energy retailers to quickly develop the strategies they have committed to and improve outcomes for customers.
Energy Consumers Australia CEO, Rosemary Sinclair, said the Prime Minister’s intervention this month had shone a spotlight on major problems with the way energy retailers were engaging with their customers, and elicited some important initiatives to put downward pressure on household power bills.
She said the Government’s determination to achieve a comparator rate in dollar terms was a very important initiative that will allow consumers to compare apples with apples when choosing the electricity deal that delivers best value for them. The QR Code app is a welcome innovation.
“Retailers make things far too confusing for consumers who are telling us they want a simpler, easier way to compare offers and make a decision about the best value deal for them.”
Ms Sinclair said the letters retailers would send to around 2 million customers this year would help provide consumers with the information they needed to choose the right offer for them.
“An estimated 1 million families are on expired discount offers and will be informed about the higher cost of not taking action and directed to the Energy Made Easy website.
“A further 1 million customers on standing offers will also be contacted to encourage them to look for a better offer. The Prime Minister says the difference between the best and worst offers can be up to $1500 – a significant boost the household budget.
“We’re now looking to the CEOs of energy retailers to deliver on that commitment quickly, and to come forward with comprehensive strategies to deliver on the commitments made to the Prime Minister.”
“Energy retailers need to demonstrate they are taking steps to reduce the complexity in this market and give consumers the simple information, tools and options to get control over rising costs.”
While consumers wanted savings now, Ms Sinclair said we also needed to be focused on getting long term change in the energy market and more affordable power for consumers.
“Consumers look forward to seeing savings in their bills in the initiatives outlined this week, but we must also be focused on getting the right outcomes from the Finkel Review and the ACCC Inquiry into electricity prices to underpin better long-term outcomes for consumers.”
Ms Sinclair said the best thing to do in the meantime if consumers are worried they are paying more than they should for power is to call their retailer and check if they’re on the best offer..
“Some households haven’t moved off outdated, expensive offers for years and could save hundreds of dollars by calling their retailer, or shopping around for a better deal.”
Media contact: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617