Called ‘A Fairer Way’, the scheme is designed to ease cost of living pressures for struggling households. It is not a special energy deal, rather a suite of changes to AGL’s energy contract terms, supposedly aimed at delivering fairer outcomes for customers by encouraging engagement with the competitive retail market.
Under A Fairer Way:
- Concession card and hardship program customers are not charged late fees
- Customers on Staying Connected (AGL’s hardship program) will be offered non-conditional discounts
- AGL will write to customers with a registered concession card who remain on ‘old’ standing offers, offering to assess their needs and move them to a better plan
- Victorian customers on a Standard Retail Contract who receive a government energy concession will also automatically receive a 15% discount off their electricity usage charges
AGL CEO & Managing Director, Andy Vesey, says the idea behind ‘A Fairer Way’ is to not only provide better value to low-income households, but also to educate consumers about deregulation and the need to shop around for the best deal.
“We have seen extremely competitive discounting across deregulated energy markets, in particular in Victoria. AGL’s current offers include 32 percent off usage charges for electricity and 18 percent for gas. We encourage customers to shop around to take advantage of these discounted products,” he said.
“We do acknowledge however, that not all customers have engaged with the market to access these competitive and heavy discounts. So we want to make sure that in this essential service market we have tailored products available for our most vulnerable consumers who are struggling to make ends meet.”
The move by AGL has been praised by community and social service groups around the country, though other electricity companies have yet to publicly follow suit.