The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Retail Tariff Tracker is an ongoing project for Energy Consumers Australia. It collects data twice per year, with reports on trends published in June and December.
Key highlights are:
- Electricity bills were, on average, slightly lower in June 2020 for most small businesses across Australia compared with a year earlier. This was driven by price reductions of between 2 and 6% in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. On the other hand, prices increased by between (2 and 4%) in Western Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.
- Bills were slightly higher for most small businesses using gas compared with a year earlier, with the greatest increases in South Australia (5%) and Tasmania (2%). Gas bills in Queensland and New South Wales increased slightly, while there were price decreases (between 1% and 2%) in the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and Victoria.
- The introduction of Default Market Offers in some jurisdictions, and the Victorian Default Offer, have seen significant falls in the bills of small business on standing offers. While the average Victorian Default Offer increased by 8% on 1 January 2020, on average the current VDO is 21% lower than the standing offers prior to the initial VDO taking effect in Victoria.
- While some retailers offer non-standard products such as membership options, access to wholesale prices and community, or more local, retailer services, there are less non-standard energy products available to small business customers than residential customers.
This year we conducted additional research to understand what support is available to small business energy customers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report Energy related hardship responses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic is available here.