EnergyAustralia has followed Origin and AGL in cutting or freezing electricity and natural gas rates across the country from July.
Households in South East Queensland and customers on the retailer’s fixed rate Secure Saver plan in New South Wales are the biggest winners, with rate drops of 3% or more.
EnergyAustralia says the tariff price cut is set to save Queensland residential customers more than $80 over the next year, while NSW customers with the Secure Saver plan can expect to save around $65.
However, residential customers on other EnergyAustralia products in NSW will see a price reduction of just 0.2%, and there is no relief for customers in South Australia where prices will remain unchanged.
Natural gas prices will remain the same across all states.
“The Hazelwood and Northern power stations shutting on short notice was a shock to the market,” said EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna. “Ever since, families and small businesses have had a tough time keeping the lights on and their energy costs under control.
“This is the first tangible sign that the pressure on household power bills is easing. There’s more to do, but the ingredients are there for an affordable, stable and reliable energy system,” she said.
Ms Tanna said she was encouraged by progress toward the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee, which could provide more long-term investment certainty and, ultimately, a more affordable, reliable energy system.
In addition to the 3.8% cut in residential electricity costs, small business customers in Queensland will see rates lowered by just over 7%.
— Business Day (@BusinessDay) June 15, 2018
Secure Saver customers saving
EnergyAustralia became the only major retailer to offer a fixed rate plan in the shape of its Secure Saver deal in October 2017. Along with AGL and Origin, it had previously removed its only fixed rate offering last July.
At the time of the Secure Saver launch, the retailer said that any reduction in wholesale electricity costs would be passed onto customers.
Around 80,000 customers in NSW have subscribed to the Secure Saver plan, the retailer says, with the promise that rates would only go down.
“It was 239 days ago we launched Secure Saver because our customers wanted certainty,” said Ms Tanna. “Secure Saver puts households back in control of their energy bills, but we also know it asks people to make a big commitment to us.
“We wanted to do something extra for customers who have put their trust in this plan and in EnergyAustralia. The good news is Secure Saver remains open for households in New South Wales and Queensland to join.”
Since EnergyAustralia launched Secure Saver, AGL has followed suit in once again offering a fixed rate deal in the shape of AGL Essentials.
Ms Tanna said investments by companies including EnergyAustralia in support of new generation should help stabilise wholesale electricity prices. The retailer recently announced it had completed a program to financially underpin development of 500 MW of renewable projects on the country’s east coast.
Now, the company is assessing investments to help integrate solar and wind power into the national grid, including 1000 MW of potential new gas-fired power plants in New South Wales and a 225-MW pumped hydro project in South Australia.