Big savings reported by ACCC for energy customers switching to market offers

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New billing data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) shows that households are paying lower energy prices since industry reforms were introduced in July 2019.

The consumer watchdog analysed more than 8.5 million bills between July 2018 and December 2019 across New South Wales, Victoria, South East Queensland and South Australia.

Data from the ACCC found that electricity prices dropped in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 for customers on both market and standing offers.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said with energy prices falling, now is the time for customers to be reviewing their current plans and shopping around if they’re still on a more expensive default tariff.

“Residential customers with a median annual electricity usage could save around $219 a year by switching from a standing offer to a market offer, while small businesses on standing offers could save about $424 a year,” Mr Sims said.

“It continues to pay for households and small businesses on market offers to shop around, especially those with one of the big three electricity providers, because these customers often paid more than customers with other providers.”

The ACCC stated that residential standing offers fell by 4.4 per cent, while market offers decreased by 3.5 per cent, with small business customers also experiencing price reductions of 7.5 per cent (standing offers) and 1.5 per cent (market offers).

Since July 2019, energy retailers are obligated to follow advertising guidelines that show how each plan’s pricing compares to the Default Market Offer (DMO) in NSW, South East QLD and SA, and the Victorian Default Offer (VDO) in VIC.

This allows a reference point for customers to compare deals against the default tariff in each state.

“While it is still early days, the analysis of this large unique dataset indicates that electricity pricing and advertising reforms introduced in July last year have been effective in protecting customers on standing offers from excessive pricing and bringing down electricity bills,” Mr Sims said.

Data from the ACCC was recorded from over 1.5 million Australians connected to 11 electricity providers.

Compare Energy Prices

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Is switching electricity providers really that easy?

It’s usually a straightforward process to switch energy providers and can take place in about five minutes depending on the retailer, explained Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief, Simon Downes.

“Fear of the unknown like having electricity suddenly disconnected are things customers needn’t worry about when changing power companies,” Mr Downes said.

“With many life admin duties, it’s often a case of being put into the ‘too hard basket’, however switching to a new electricity provider is very simple and can be done in a matter of minutes in the comfort of your own home. These findings from the ACCC reinforce the importance of reviewing your plan if you haven’t switched retailers lately, as you could be paying too much for power and haven’t even noticed. With the holiday season right around the corner, there’s never been a better time to get your household bills in order.”

Image credit: Peterfz30/Shutterstock.com

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