The Turnbull Government is taking decisive action to reduce energy prices for Australian families and businesses. It is simply not good enough that some consumers cannot always afford to turn on their lights, heating and equipment. This must stop. Too many families are not on the best power deal. That is why today we took further action. We are pleased to have secured agreement from retailers on immediate measures and ongoing changes, to be backed by law, to put families and small business first. The commitments include:
- Contacting all the customers now who are on expired discounts and telling them how much they can save on a better deal.
- Requiring companies report to the Government and ACCC what they are doing to get families on to a better deal and how many families remain on expired deals.
- Developing simple, plain English, fact sheets with understandable comparison rates.
- Support a change to the electricity rules requiring companies to inform customers when their discount benefits end, setting out the dollar impact of doing nothing.
- Ensuring families and individuals on hardship programs will not lose any benefit or discount for late payment.
These are the immediate actions we have secured to help ensure families are not paying more for their power than they should. The industry and government will continue to work together over the coming months to make more changes that will ensure families do not have to pay a cent more for electricity than they need to. These significant reforms build on those already achieved by the Turnbull Government to drive a more affordable and reliable energy system. We are already:
- Driving down gas prices through our export licensing regime and reforms to pipelines.
- Stopping energy companies gaming the system, restricting appeals that lead to higher prices.
- Directing the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to forensically examine energy companies’ behaviour.
- Encouraging innovation and new technology, including the development of the game-changing Snowy Hydro 2.0.