AGL cuts electricity rates, but gas prices go up

AGL has announced it will be cutting electricity prices across New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia from July, in response to a “record number” of customers seeking out better deals.

The retailer has also revealed that gas rates will be frozen in Queensland, but there will be price increases for households in NSW and South Australia.

“We understand power prices have been high and that has put pressure on many households,” said AGL’s Chief Customer Officer Melissa Reynolds.

“While these price cuts are slight, they’re part of a downward trend that is emerging as more investment in new sources of supply comes into the market.

“Meanwhile, a record number of customers are seeking out better deals and we welcome this clear sign of healthy competition.

“More than two million customer accounts have changed over to a new deal with AGL since July last year, meaning many customers have already seen their bills come down.”

AGL is cutting standard electricity prices in Queensland by 1.6%, while rates are set to drop by 0.4% in South Australia and 0.3% in NSW.

While gas prices remain unchanged in QLD, customers in SA can expect an increase of 2.1% and those in NSW will see costs go up by 1.8%.

Ms Reynolds said that prices could be driven even lower if policy certainty encourages additional investment in new supply.

“AGL supports the policy certainty that would come with implementation of the National Energy Guarantee.”

The price cuts announced today are set against rising network and green costs, AGL says.

The announcement comes in the same week that Origin Energy announced modest prices reductions in some areas. EnergyAustralia is yet to confirm its prices changes.

Origin has lowered its electricity prices in Queensland and South Australia, while rates in New South Wales will go unchanged.

Natural gas customers in NSW can expect a price reduction, while those in the other states will see rates stay the same.

Time to shop around

All energy providers are expected to adjust rates across NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT from July 1. In 2017, households in most areas saw price increases of around 20 per cent or higher.

Canstar Blue Editor Simon Downes said now is the time of year to review your electricity and gas plans.

“The important thing now is that consumers don’t see that their retailer has dropped prices slightly and assume they must be getting a great deal. It’s still hugely important to shop around as I would expect greater price reductions from other retailers,” he said.

“If your retailer isn’t cutting prices significantly this July, it might be time to find another retailer.

“Take this opportunity to review your options. If you’re still on a standard contact with AGL or Origin – or any other retailer – you could be saving hundreds of dollars simply by moving onto one of their market contracts. And there could be even bigger savings if you switch to a different provider.”

Canstar Blue’s electricity database shows that the difference between the cheapest and most expensive electricity plans in some areas is as much as $1,000 a year, or even more in some circumstances.

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