LABOR TO HOLD ENERGY RETAILERS TO ACCOUNT ON PRICE INCREASES

Posted on 17. Dec, 2013 in News

Victorian Labor will require electricity retailers to disclose details of benchmark price rises if elected in November 2014, Lily’ D’Ambrosio, Shadow Minister for Energy and the Consumer Protection, announced today.

Ms D’Ambrosio said that Labor’s policy would provide greater transparency and improve competition by allowing simultaneous price comparison in the energy retail market, to benefit consumers through their energy bills

“We’ve seen continuing increases in household electricity bills despite the fact that wholesale electricity prices have been going down,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“This move is about holding major energy retailers to account and minimising unwarranted price increases for Victorian families.

“By announcing this policy, Labor is serious about protecting consumers and reducing cost pressures for Victorians,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

In order to enforce the policy, Labor would change legislation to mandate all energy retailers to give 30 days’ notice (or next business day) before 1 July and before 1 January, each year of their new electricity standing tariffs.

This would be done by amending the Electricity Industry Act 2000 at the first available opportunity in 2014 in order to give effect to this policy.

Simultaneously, energy retailers will also be required to gazette disclosure statements of the reasons for any increase, decrease or maintenance of their electricity standing tariffs.
Standing tariffs are the benchmark from which retailers set their market offers. Retailers can change their market offers at any time subject to the Victorian energy retail code.
Ms D’Ambrosio said that it has become clear that the standing tariffs market is limiting competition which is contributing to the growth in retailer profit margins.
“The Napthine Government has known of this problem since at least May but have made no comment and done nothing to fix it,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Labor is serious about protecting consumers and reducing cost pressures for Victorians, unlike the Napthine Government who have sat on their hands and done nothing.”

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