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SME Retail Tariff Tracker Final Report: June 2020

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Energy Consumers Australia

A new report released by Energy Consumers Australia, which tracks the electricity bills of small businesses, shows that electricity bills were, on average, slightly lower in June 2020 for most small businesses across Australia compared with a year earlier.

The SME Retail Tariff Tracker shows price reductions of 2-6% in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, while prices were up by 2-4% in Western Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Victoria.

CEO Lynne Gallagher said this continued a pattern of generally flat or lower prices over the past year, but that there was room for prices to move down more significantly from 1 July.

“The introduction of Default Market Offers, and the Victorian Default Offer, have seen significant falls in the bills of small businesses on standing offers. On average the current Victorian Default Offer is 21% lower than the standing offers prior to its introduction in Victoria,” Ms Gallagher said.

“We are making headway and with network costs falling and wholesale prices at their lowest since 2016, this year is an opportunity to make headway toward the ACCC’s target of 20-25 per cent price cuts for households and small businesses and consumers.

“The small business sector and jobs depends on prices coming back down to more normal levels.”

The report also shows gas bills were slightly higher for most small businesses, up in South Australia (5%) and Tasmania (2%). Queensland and New South Wales also saw slightly higher gas bills, while there were price decreases of 1-2% in the ACT, Western Australia and Victoria.

The report’s release coincides with the release of the latest Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey which shows some improvement in business consumer attitudes on energy issues.

“We saw the highest satisfaction among small businesses with value for money of electricity since the survey began, up 6% to 58% since last year.

“While the value for money of electricity services is still rated behind every other comparable service, we are making headway and closing the gap with services like mobile phones and banking.

“Small businesses expect to see prices come down further with confidence in better value for money outcomes in the future up 7% to 45% and price changes on 1 July are a test of whether energy companies will live up to those expectations at this difficult time of economic crisis.”

The full SME Retail Tariff Tracker report can be read here and the data pack can be downloaded here. To read more about the Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey click here.

Media Contact: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617

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