Government unveils latest plan to bring down energy prices

The ACCC is working on an efficient way to share data with energy service providers.

Is this the path to cheaper energy?

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) is progressing with plans to introduce the most reliable, secure and efficient way to share data with energy service providers under the Government’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) reforms.

A statement from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the CDR provided consumers with greater access to their personal information and would provide them with the power to instruct businesses to provide safe and secure access of their data to trusted third parties.

Thirty per cent of electricity consumers do not switch providers due to the effort required and 22 per cent due to lack of information.

“Extending the Consumer Data Right to energy builds on the progress already made applying it to the banking sector, through what is known as open banking,” Mr Frydenberg explained.

Legislation for open banking was passed on 1 August 2019. From February 2020, for the first time, consumers will have greater access to information that banks hold on them and will be able to use it to shop around and get a better deal.

“Giving consumers more control over their data will support the development of more convenient products and services that are customised to individuals' needs, encouraging more competition, lower prices and better switching between electricity plans and providers,” Mr Frydenberg said.

A consumer would be around $1000 better off by switching from the worst to the best electricity plan in both NSW and South Australia.

The ACCC has chosen the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) “gateway model” as the preferred data access model.

Under this model, AEMO provides data on consumers’ electricity arrangements from their current provider to trusted third parties when authorised by the consumer.

“Sharing information such as a household’s current energy deal and consumption pattern with other energy service providers will enable a consumer to find the best deal for them,” said ACCC commissioner Sarah Court.

“This will enhance transparency and put consumers into the driving seat when it comes to comparing confusing deals, so they can find new and innovative offers that best suit them.”

Do you compare energy deals regularly? Do you find the process confusing? Do you think this system will make it easier to compare?

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    COMMENTS

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    andromeda143
    3rd Sep 2019
    9:58am
    I have switched so many times and every time the 'gotchas' come back to bite me. Energy suppliers are untrustworthy and only tell you enough to reel you in. I yearn for the good old days of the SECV.
    jackie
    3rd Sep 2019
    10:16am
    andromedia143, I agree. We all have been put on a hamster wheel by the Government because it doesn't want to rock the corporate machine boat.
    The Bronze Anzac
    3rd Sep 2019
    11:18am
    I wished we had some competitors in our region of far North Queensland so that at least we could compare & switch when needed. It is a monopoly in Cairns with just Ergon Energy as the ONLY provider.
    older&wiser
    3rd Sep 2019
    2:46pm
    Totally agree! One of my tasks at a previous job was to check energy bills (and these bills were often $200,000 a quarter). My neighbors recently changed to a so-called low cost energy company (one of these group buying schemes) and could not work out why their bill was higher. Yes - they had been promised this huge 32% reduction. BUT - their unit price was higher, and the discount was only on usage, not supply charges.
    Like you - energy companies offer only what sounds good. There is always a catch and it so time consuming going through all the terms, and trying to understand the hidden costs.
    Scorpion
    3rd Sep 2019
    10:04am
    This is another load of gobbledygook from the government and ACCC How will it lower prices if your on the best plan how do save money on power. The other thing is that the older generation who need to save hardly ever change as they generally stay loyal to one brand. The government/ACCC need to grow balls or take the utilities back if they are fair dinkum about saving power costs.
    Tood
    3rd Sep 2019
    5:23pm
    Spot on the solution is for the govt to re-regulate or the whole kit and kaboodle back and run at a lost or subsidise if necessary. this country is fast going to the dogs under these hopeless cretins
    libsareliars
    4th Sep 2019
    4:13pm
    "The government/ACCC need to grow balls or take the utilities back if they are fair dinkum about saving power costs."
    Spot on.
    pedro the swift
    3rd Sep 2019
    10:21am
    The whole power debacle started when they privatised! Thats the crux of the matter. Services like power,roads,heath,education and other important infrastructure need to in public hands not sold off to private "enterprise" and foreign ownership to profit at our expense.
    purplejan88
    3rd Sep 2019
    11:05am
    absolutely correct Pedro absolutely correct - govts today don't want to run essential services because they've been too caught up with making money by selling everything - the consumer will be better off due to competition - biggest load of bollocks to come out of pollies mouths
    Curious
    3rd Sep 2019
    1:52pm
    I agree with the comments here....absolutely right! Infrastructure is the backbone of our economy and the responsibility of our government. Once the government privatized out our infrastructure, we lose control over our economy. The government privatizes it out because they believe in capitalism with minimum regulations, private ownership of means of productions for profit, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, and an invisible hand to set a price system through competitive markets. Unfortunately, the government sold our infrastructure to overseas investors with profits going back overseas. Our wage is competitive with global-labor supply, hence wage stagnation. Individual electricity companies have different agendas and missions for emission limits and renewable energy. There is no consistency of a national approach to climate change policy because of the diversity of suppliers.
    libsareliars
    4th Sep 2019
    4:14pm
    Agree entirely, stop privatisation of everything.
    Buggsie
    3rd Sep 2019
    10:35am
    Years ago I learned that the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Now I add increasing power bills. Nothing governments are doing will actually lower our bills. It comes down to us - can we affort solar panels and will they be efficient on our home? Can we sort through the various deals in the market to find the best one for us? How will our aging grandparents with approaching dementia cope or will they just get lost in the confusion and continue to get ripped off? My approach is - forget the discounts, look at the rates per KWh behind the deal on offer. Make a judgement and see how it works out, but don't sign up for more that a year as your problems may only get worse. Good luck!
    See if you qualify for any government rebates
    Farside
    3rd Sep 2019
    3:19pm
    the only way to compare plans is to put in your own usage data and ensure you consider time of use and daily supply charges. Payment on time discounts are a distraction for the most part as the cheapest plans will typically insist on automated monthly payments.
    Misty
    4th Sep 2019
    12:51am
    I got a good deal with Origin and don't have to sign up for automatic paymenrs.
    Intellego
    3rd Sep 2019
    11:03am
    How about the government re-regulate the energy sector and reverse the bloody privatization that is ripping off consumers terribly? And while you're about it, bring on a Royal Commission into the sector. That'll stop their gouging and bring the prices down.
    Farside
    3rd Sep 2019
    3:22pm
    the government is not going to invest in aging power stations to reverse privatisation any time soon.
    Tood
    3rd Sep 2019
    5:25pm
    Well if that is the answer in the short term Farside, then they should! Sick and tired of the stuffing around and achieving nothing.
    Intellego
    3rd Sep 2019
    11:04am
    How about telling us the CHEAPEST energy providers in EACH STATE?
    Maggie
    3rd Sep 2019
    11:10am
    Brilliant and practical. Thank you Intellego!
    Now why don't we, the members of Your life choices get together and get a petition going. If I knew how to do it I would.
    There must be people put there who can do this .....
    Tood
    3rd Sep 2019
    5:19pm
    dream on, would be marvellous but in some States where I believe there is only one supplier it needs to match the lowest of the other States otherwise there would not be a cheapest
    BrianP
    3rd Sep 2019
    11:05am
    When will the so called Government do something to help power customers in WA?
    Maggie
    3rd Sep 2019
    11:13am
    Please see my response to Intellego. Why do so many people sit about and moan about the govt. En masse we can make huge differences. We pay the pollies, let's tell them what to do.!
    johninmelb
    3rd Sep 2019
    2:36pm
    Maggie, I have posted endlessly here about people getting off their backsides and doing something.

    It falls on deaf ears. Too hard. More fund whinging and whining on YLC.

    Definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If you ever wanted proof of that, just read YLC every day.
    Horace Cope
    3rd Sep 2019
    11:08am
    There is a blind rush to convert Australia to renewable energy to "save the planet" and the costs of solar and wind is a part of the reason that electricity prices have soared. What is needed is a two tier system where those who choose coal or gas fired electricity pay one price and those who choose solar and/or wind pay a price for that choice. The costs started to rise exponentially when subsidies were commenced for renewables and continue to rise. My problem with all of this is what we are actually trying to achieve. Australia produces 1.3% of the world's pollution and, somehow, we are being told that Australia can fix the pollution problem. Well, maybe those of us who don't want wind and solar shouldn't be asked to pay for those who do.
    On the Ball
    3rd Sep 2019
    3:38pm
    Really? Which world are you talking about?
    I have solar. Paid full price. The local power mob pay me exactly the same rate as they charge me... And as for the infrastructure to allow me to contribute to the power grid, I pay a daily charge. Yes, the supply charge, which includes the same poles and wires I would still need if I didn't have solar. Most power companies dont pay back anywhere near what they charge for electricity. Origin comes close, but still way less.
    Next: Australia contributes 1.3% of the worlds' pollution? That's the highest pollution level per person of any developed nation. AND that doesn't include the coal and gas we export that contributes to 30% of the worlds' pollution...
    Horace Cope
    3rd Sep 2019
    4:41pm
    About 1/6th of the costs of electricity price rises can be attributed directly to solar and whilst you are breaking even, those without solar panels are paying 1/6th more. It's clutching at straws when you move to the "per capita" argument when the truth is that it's the amount of pollution that supposed to be causing the problem, not the amount each person is responsible for. Our coal and gas exports will be replaced by other countries exports should Australia stop those industries so what will be achieved apart from massive unemployment and a lower standard of living. If you want to go down the road of blaming our exports as a contributor to world pollution then perhaps the imports of motor vehicles, a big user of generated power, should be blamed against those manufacturing countries.
    Theo1943
    4th Sep 2019
    10:57am
    Gee Horace, you have an interesting argument there. We, in Australia, produce 4 times as much pollution as the average world citizen and the Chinese produce 1.5 times as much as the average. It must be their fault. If you had your head any further in the sand you'd be seeing China. By that reasoning you could produce all the pollution you want, your percentage of the world total would still be infinitesimal.
    As On the ball said, the people with solar power are paying for the power poles as well, even though they use them far less. You'll be happy to know that my power bill for the last 12 months was $9.21.
    As for subsidies, don't you think it's time we stopped subsidising coal mines?
    Theo1943
    4th Sep 2019
    11:08am
    Hey Horace

    On a per capita basis, Australian fossil fuel subsidies amount to $1,198 per person.

    That's $29 Billion per year Horace. Isn't Google wonderful?
    Lippy
    3rd Sep 2019
    11:53am
    ScoMo, stop talking out of your ass all the time. You said you've got a plan, do we need to wait till NEXT election to hear your how Labor will increase power but LNP will drive it down. The cost of living has only headed north with no plan for Australians who pay your dodgy job as PM. You don't want solar or wind but the children of the world are striking for change. Probably busy watching your back for the next knifing.
    libsareliars
    4th Sep 2019
    4:15pm
    Well said.
    4b2
    3rd Sep 2019
    12:35pm
    I wont be holding my breath for this mob to achieve anything. Their last boast was the NBN still waiting. Petrol prices still high no improvement there.
    I have been using the one electricity provider forever, they keep asking me to sign a contract to get discounts on prompt payments etc, which I have always done. They say they wont give me the discount unless I sign a contract. The last letter asked me to sign a contract to gain the discounts and the contract was an open contract with no opting oput penalties? SO why cant the ACCC do something about these issues?
    Misty
    4th Sep 2019
    12:57am
    As far as I know you do not have to sign a contract, in fact I think it is against the law for an energy company to ask you to, at least in NSW. Google it to find out, I haven't got time right now.
    Bottle-O-Rum
    3rd Sep 2019
    1:13pm
    Dump the Paris Agreement to show leadership and intent to cease Australia's irrational spiral into energy poverty. Give incentive and confidence for investment in low cost, reliable energy just like the old SECV which we so loved.
    moama jock
    3rd Sep 2019
    1:36pm
    Thank you for your article "Government to bring down energy prices ".

    I trust you will follow up with more advice so as to making the choice black or white so we do need through the trickery that is so dishonestly served up by some of the comparison sites.Plain dishonest and misleading.Also do not forget the time you waste fielding the incessant multiple daily phone and emails at all hours.
    Tarzan
    3rd Sep 2019
    2:05pm
    No choice in Qld, service fees nearly as high as your consumption bill. I smell a change of government next year, the current one is on the nose
    Eddy
    3rd Sep 2019
    2:16pm
    I suggest the biggest problem with energy policy is that there is no policy. Seems only yesterday that Mr Frydenberg was touting the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) only to see the NEG dropped when the Mr Turnbull was knifed. Since then we have had nothing. Any energy policy would be better than no energy policy, at least everyone, including consumers, retailers and generators, would know where they stood.
    older&wiser
    3rd Sep 2019
    2:41pm
    Here we go again...empty air head promises that don't help at all. These silly statements - "A consumer would be around $1000 better off by switching from the worst to the best electricity plan in both NSW and South Australia" - are totally fake and useless. Yeah - might be correct - if their annual bill is around $20,000 a year, but if your annual bill is around $200 - I can absolutely guarantee you won't see a reduction of $1000.
    Something has to be done to reduce power bills, especially for seniors who spend more time in their home and need to use more power. But I won't be holding my breath.
    older&wiser
    3rd Sep 2019
    2:50pm
    Woops - should have said .....'but if your annual bill is $2,000......
    Tood
    3rd Sep 2019
    5:35pm
    Either way you won't be seeing anything close to a $1000, its all just BS
    london
    3rd Sep 2019
    3:00pm
    who can we contact to get the government to give pensioners 50% discount on gas and electricity as they are struggling to cope
    Tood
    3rd Sep 2019
    5:36pm
    Love to see it, even the GST was taken off for pensioners it would be a start
    johninmelb
    3rd Sep 2019
    5:37pm
    In your dreams. Never gonna happen.
    Spud
    3rd Sep 2019
    3:20pm
    I have been waiting for a reason from anyone to inform me why as a solar producer I’m gouged up to 12 cents more than a non solar customer? Victoria.
    Farside
    3rd Sep 2019
    3:27pm
    how are you being gouged compared to non-solar?
    GeorgeM
    3rd Sep 2019
    3:43pm
    I agree with comments from pedro the swift and others about privatisation and too much subsidies for renewables causing increases in prices.
    That said, the plans in this article to get customers to share their data seems like a con to help these privatised companies to get access to your data. Why is this necessary at all? Instead, they could simply provide a Govt web tool, such as for CTP insurance, where you key in your necessary details only (including your usage say in the last bill or two) and you could get Quotes back from all companies.
    floss
    3rd Sep 2019
    4:21pm
    This is what happens when these fools privatise our once public power providers there is no way back and charges can't come down ever.
    billy boy
    3rd Sep 2019
    4:50pm
    I call my power supplier up, energy australia,about every 6 months, and ask them politely, if there is a better and cheaper price for me, according to my usage history, they tell me, and oblige to say, yes often, have brought my bill down to abought a quarter, over ten years. the key is, speak firmly, but politely to them, even if their accent is, from those famous overseas call centres we hate, i'm sure they'll be able to help, no matter who the supplier is, cheerio, and good luck, billy boy ;)
    billy boy
    3rd Sep 2019
    4:52pm
    sorry, my spelling is attrocious, but you get my drift,
    billy ;)
    On the Ball
    4th Sep 2019
    9:03am
    Certainly do! You can also get out on the web and see the different prices for yourself.
    Plus one for you Billy!
    Tood
    3rd Sep 2019
    5:15pm
    Same old, same old BS, having to look and switch is tiresome, people can't be bothered and we shouldn't have to be bothered. The bloody government needs to bring down prices make all suppliers provide the lowest base price or take over the suppliers, so sick of this BS that just goes around in circles. This is an essential commodity for both people and business so govt needs to stop stuffing around and get tough, real tough!!
    MICK
    3rd Sep 2019
    9:20pm
    Ha ha ha. This was on 7:30 Report a couple of days ago when Sims. the head of the ACCC, admitted that changing providers was no more than a scam and that you could not generally save more than $450 a year.
    I've grown tired of the lies on lies on lies which continue to come from a destitute government which only survives on right wing media lies and tax cuts for its wealthy supporters.
    Here we go again.
    On the Ball
    3rd Sep 2019
    9:34pm
    This is not as hard as a lot of people think it is...
    Your current supplier should have available you previous years' power consumption figures.
    Get them. Use that to estimate your costs for the new company you want to go to. Add the daily charge and away you go. If you have solar then each company will tell you how much feed-in tarrif they offer.
    So now you have the cheapest. Now look at hidden costs. Do they want you to sign a contract? How much does it cost to break that contract? Do they charge to connect you?
    Put it all together to work out who to go to . It is really that easy. Me? I have a holiday house with solar so it makes far more power than it uses. Easy. I worked out my consumption, daily charge and feed-in tariff. Origin was far cheaper then anyone else. And NO contract. No connection/disconnection fee. Way below the Government set fee (NSW).
    So if it doesn't work out, I can change anytime I want.
    NSW? Google Energy made easy...
    Fair Dinkum
    4th Sep 2019
    7:07am
    The government is to blame for High energy cost if they had not sold of parts of the electricity system to make them look good at the time we probably would not be in the situation we are in. Why is it that goverment sell off anything that makes a good profit to make them look good at the expense of the public. Take Commonwealth bank for instance.. government should be able to regulate prices so that all energy suppliers charge the same at the rate of lowest suppliers or lower.
    fishy
    4th Sep 2019
    8:46am
    build more power stations Josh = more competition = cheaper power oh wait there is lots of politicians who have investments in power
    On the Ball
    4th Sep 2019
    8:54am
    Wont happen.
    Cheapest power stations now are renewables. LNP is funded by the coal industry (not a joke - they are!). Oh they bang on about base load, but if renewable power station proliferate, that takes most of the load off aging fossil fuel power supplies, which can then cope with base load (only) demands. Small scale distributed power stations means less homes are affected by blackouts.
    Governments cant abide by small independent power stations - or small independent anything!
    Why? No central control.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2019
    1:19pm
    what are a load of nonsense - there are currently 1809 coal fired HELE power stations being built around the world and renewables barley make up a few % of total world power.
    The Care Bear.
    6th Sep 2019
    10:08am
    The US generated more electricity from renewable sources than coal for the first time ever in April, new federal government data has shown.

    Clean energy such as solar and wind provided 23% of US electricity generation during the month, compared with coal’s 20%, according to the Energy Information Administration.

    This represents the first time coal has been surpassed by energy sources that do not release pollution such as planet-heating gases.

    April was a favorable month for renewables, with low energy demand and an uptick in wind generation. This means that coal may once again pull ahead of renewables again during 2019, although the long-term trends appear to be set.

    “The fate of coal has been sealed, the market has spoken,
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2019
    8:08am
    Care Bear - suggest you watch US Fox News - had a scientist on their last night that debunked what you just said - renewables are not and never will replace coal or gas - it is just nonsense and considerably costly.
    The Care Bear.
    9th Sep 2019
    8:14am
    I'll bet you get your information from the Woman's Weekly too.
    So the Energy Information Administration is lying. Do some of your own research before you parrot the right wing garbage on Fox.

    5th Sep 2019
    1:17pm
    what a waste of tie and effort - the only way to bring down prices is to get out of Paris agreement- build at least 2 HELE coal fired power stations (and take back control of Liddell station now) and lastly cease all subsidies to renewables.
    before we went down this dumb path in 2006 we had one fo the cheapest energy costs in the world which assisted many industries to be internationally competitive. We have lost in past 8 years at least 250,000 manufacturing jobs that have gone overseas due to unsustainable high energy costs.
    Meanwhile USA energy costs are 1/2 ours and they are fully self sustainable - unlike Australia.
    This country is run by morons on both sides who are destroying the competitiveness of this country -oh! and what are 2 biggest earners - coal and iron ore.
    The Care Bear.
    6th Sep 2019
    10:12am
    Fact Check - The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019 report, published on Friday (Australian time) shows solar accounted for the largest single share of the net 2,366GW of new power capacity installed over the past decade, at 638GW.

    And that’s counting fossil fuels, too. Coming in behind solar as the next largest installed generation source over the 10 years is coal (529 GW), then wind (487GW) and then gas (438GW).
    Sorry if facts get in the way of your baseless Dribble.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2019
    8:06am
    Care Bear - you would not know facts if they stared you in the face - baseless dribble - you moronic idiot - there are a grea many other facts from professor lumber and jo nova and many others but lost on you and others that have drank the Kool aid and desparately cling to any piece of dogma that meets their ideology.
    You can shove your renewables and pay for them your self - me I'll have more coal more gas more oil
    The Care Bear.
    9th Sep 2019
    9:07am
    I rest my case. I should have realised that do do your own independent research you first need to be able to comprehend what you are reading. Ask yourself why Australian Banks will not lend for any more coal mines, why are there huge Solar Farms being built, why is the take-up of Solar increasing dramatically ( I have Solar, paid for in under 4 years with the current Internal Rate Of Return of 22%)
    You can keep your head in the sand and pretend Coal is King, I guess it's cheaper for you than most as you are probably on Welfare and get a subsidy from tax payers.
    GrayComputing
    6th Sep 2019
    12:02pm
    Collecting and sharing any user information to both companies and crooks that benefit from it is truly bad to all the users involved.
    Another big brother data collection method that will herd us (mainly sheep like) into the financial killing fields.
    BTW: All your credit card transactions are sold ( by the banks and VISA MASTERCARD etc) to hundreds of private companies who then target you with selected products.