Cheaper energy bills coming to Victorians living in apartments

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Cheaper energy bills are coming to Victorians living in embedded networks, such as some apartments, caravan parks and retirement villages, thanks to reforms introduced by the state government in 2019.

The Victorian Default Offer or VDO is set to act as a price cap for more than 120,000 embedded network customers from 1 September, 2020.

These changes will see a new maximum price for electricity sold to customers living in embedded networks by energy retailers, which is part of the state’s push for fairer power prices.

Essential Services Commission (ESC) Pricing Director, Marcus Crudden, claims the decision will not only give all Victorians access to fairer prices, but customers will also save hundreds on their yearly energy bills.

“From 1 September, residential embedded network customers could save between $180 to $360 while small businesses could save $900 to $2,200 annually, based on the current default offer,” he said.

Minister for Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio, has backed the state regulator’s decision, saying that capped prices are a step in the right direction.

“We’re making sure that all Victorians have access to fair energy prices, whether you live in an apartment building or retirement village, or run a business in a shopping centre.

“These customers will now have access to the same cheaper deal, and have the same protections as Victorians who live in a house and can choose their energy provider.”

The VDO was introduced as part of an independent review from government and industry regulators that found Victorian customers were paying too much for power. It’s also part of a government undertaking to make the retail energy market easier to understand, as well as making it more affordable to households and small businesses.

How much can customers in embedded networks save?

While it’s great to see a more even playing field for bill-payers residing in units and the like, these customers still won’t have access to deals cheaper than the VDO, said Canstar Blue Editor-in Chief, Simon Downes.

He said: “Although the Victorian Default Offer will provide some level of protection for those living in embedded networks, they still won’t be able to take advantage of cheaper deals available to customers living in freestanding houses. That being said, having a maximum price on what energy providers can charge will hopefully spark a downward trend in energy costs for these customers, much like we’ve seen for residential customers who manage their own bill.”

Here are the electricity costs customers in embedded networks are expected to save. These figures assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff in each distribution zone in Victoria.

Distribution Network Standing Offers (May 2019) Victorian Default Offer (July 2020) Annual Savings
Citipower $1,658 $1,420 $238
Jemena $1,779 $1,496 $283
AusNet $2,007 $1,646 $361
Powercor $1,890 $1,517 $373
United Energy $1,687 $1,508 $179

Source: Essential Services Commission, Default Offer Extended to Victorians in Embedded Networks, 28 July 2020.

VIC Energy Prices Compared

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 and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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. The next three tabs feature products exclusively from AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin.

Here are the AGL Energy plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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 the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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 the Origin Energy plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower energy 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 and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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.

Image credit: Scottt13/Shutterstock.com

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