AGL power bill.
AGL power bill.

Default prices for electricity to be enforced

POWER bills could be slashed by up to $400 under a new government bid to crackdown on big energy companies.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will today announce the government plans to set a default price for electricity in line with a recommendation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's inquiry into retail power prices.

The Australian Energy Regulator will start work immediately to require power retailers to set their prices against a default market price.

This could help households save hundreds of dollars, and businesses thousands.

"The default offer will ensure customers are not being exploited by being loyal to a service provider," Minister Taylor said.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor and Prime Minister Scott Morrison meeting Canberra residents this morning to talk about their power bills. Picture Kym Smith
Energy Minister Angus Taylor and Prime Minister Scott Morrison meeting Canberra residents this morning to talk about their power bills. Picture Kym Smith

The government will also introduce a reference bill for each region under which electricity retailers will be required to calculate and advertise their discounts using a common reference point.

This will help customers to clearly compare offers to find the best deal.

A report by the Australian Energy Market Commission found customers on standing offers could be paying up to $832 per year more than the cheapest market offer in South Australia.

The figures for other states were: Victoria ($652), NSW ($411), Queensland ($369) and ACT ($273). Tasmania already has a regulated standing offer.

For small businesses the price differences range from $969 to $3457. Mr Taylor will meet with his state and territory counterparts in Sydney on Friday to discuss co-operation and law changes.



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