power lines
The new legislation is expected to be in effect during the second half of 2021. Image – Canva.
  • Customer to be notified about a 'reference price' as a benchmark
  • Energy retailers will be required to notify customers of better deals
  • Comes as 74,000 customers have benefited from Energy Efficient Improvement Scheme

Under new legislation that has been introduced to the Australian Capital Territory’s Legislative Assembly, energy retailers will be required to notify customers of better deals.

Specifically, the new rules will require energy retailers to notify customers about a ‘reference price’ – a common benchmark that your deal will be compared against. Without having to ask, the energy retailers will then notify consumers if a better deal is available.

The ACT’s Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission previously recommended the changes.

“Energy prices are notoriously hard to compare, especially for people who can’t afford the time it takes to navigate the best available deal out of providers,” said Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr.

“This will make a real difference to Canberrans. We know the difference between a standing offer price and the best market price can be up to $400 a year. We also know that around 40 percent of Canberrans are on standing offer contracts.”

Andrew Barr, ACT Chief Minister

Shane Rattenbury, the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, said consumers and business alike will both reap the rewards of the new legislation.

“As electricity prices fluctuate it’s important to know there’s a lot you can do to take the power back and keep your bills under control. People in their homes and running small businesses will really benefit from this fast-track to the best possible deal.

“Electricity contracts have become increasingly complicated for consumers, but these new rules will require electricity companies to give consumers the best information and ensure they can get the best deal.”

Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

Mr Rattenbury added that according to the independent competition regulators most recent report, the average household in Canberra can save over $500 annually by simply switching to a new deal.

The Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme has also benefitted 74,000 households and businesses with households participating saving an average of $300 per year, with businesses saving $5,200.

“Improving energy efficiency is the other major cost saver that’s available to all Canberrans. Even small improvements can reduce your bills and make you more comfortable while using less power. Using less power on the best possible deal is a winning combination.”

Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

The new changes are expected to come into effect during the second half of 2021.

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