Government unveils latest plan to bring down energy prices

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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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Written by Ben

64 Comments

Total Comments: 64
  1. 0
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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

  2. 0
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    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.

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      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

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      “The government/ACCC need to grow balls or take the utilities back if they are fair dinkum about saving power costs.”
      Spot on.

  3. 0
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    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.

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      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

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      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.

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      Agree entirely, stop privatisation of everything.

  4. 0
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    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

    • 0
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      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.

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      I got a good deal with Origin and don’t have to sign up for automatic paymenrs.

  5. 0
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    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.

  6. 0
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    How about telling us the CHEAPEST energy providers in EACH STATE?

    • 0
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      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 …..

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      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

  7. 0
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    When will the so called Government do something to help power customers in WA?

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      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.!

    • 0
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      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.

  8. 0
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    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.

    • 0
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      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…

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      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.

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      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?

    • 0
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      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?

  9. 0
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    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.

  10. 0
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    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?

    • 0
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      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.

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