Rising wholesale prices for electricity and gas may mean that the cost of purchasing electricity has increased for retail companies, who buy electricity on the wholesale market and then sell it to customers.
As a result, some retailers face financial difficulties.
If your retailer goes out of business, it can be a confusing or even anxious time. This page explains what will happen next, what you need to do and how to make sure you end up with the best available energy plan for your needs.
Will I be disconnected?
- You do not need to worry about your electricity supply being disconnected if your energy retailer ‘fails’ or can no longer operate in the market.
- There are procedures in place to ensure electricity is not disconnected during this time.
- As a customer of a failed retailer you will automatically be transferred to a new, pre-determined retailer (known as the designated retailer or Retailer of Last Resort).
What should I do?
Your new retailer is required to contact you usually by mail, within about five weeks and tell you what energy plan you have been placed on.
Who this will be depends on where you live and your distribution network, but will likely be one of the larger retailers (Origin, Energy Australia or AGL).
If you have special circumstances, such as life support equipment, or a rebate or payment plan, you will need to discuss these with your new retailer as soon as possible to ensure these protections are not lost.
Who is my new retailer?
To find your new retailer you will need to identify who your distribution network is.
This is located on your electricity bill and will be listed as who to call if there is a fault or emergency. (For example, Essential Energy is the distribution network provider in regional NSW and southern QLD areas).
If you are happy to wait a while you should receive information from both your old and new retailer with all the details of your new arrangements. Keep an eye out on the mail or email.
What deal will I move across to?
When you are transferred to your new retailer you will automatically be charged the default price or ‘standing offer’ as set by the Australian Energy Regulator.
This may not be the cheapest available offer from your new retailer.
You will receive a final bill from your former retailer, which you will need to pay. You will then be billed by your new retailer from the date you were transferred.
Will I be paying more than I was?
- The amount you are charged on your new bill may be higher than what you were previously being charged by your old retailer.
- There may also be an administration fee that you are charged.
Do I have to stay with my new plan?
There is no obligation to stay with the standing offer or to stay with your new retailer.
Ask your new retailer if they have an available offer that better meets your needs. You can also check out www.energymadeeasy.gov.au to see if there is a better deal or ‘market offer’ with a different retailer that suits your circumstances.
If you were previously receiving a Feed-in Tariff for your excess solar energy this will not automatically transfer to your new retailer. You should contact your new retailer to find out what they have available.
I’m finding it hard to make contact
Your new retailer may experience a high volume of calls at this time. However, information will also be available on
- Your old retailer’s website
- Your new retailer’s website
- The Australian Energy Regulator’s website www.aer.gov.au , along with a hotline you can call during business hours. 1300 585 165.