Electricity retailers are enjoying high profits by rorting Australians

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Australians are paying up to 43 per cent profits to electricity companies, who are failing to deliver low prices to consumers, to the point that the Government may need to step in and re-regulate the power industry.

Over the last 10 years, the cost of electricity has almost doubled in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

In Victoria specifically, electricity providers enjoy a profit margin of around 13 per cent, which is more than double the margin traditionally considered fair.

If fairer prices were to be set, Victorians could save around $100 per household per year.

The Grattan Institute’s Price shock: Is the retail electricity market failing consumers? report revealed that there are still better deals available on electricity. However, the market is too complicated, so rather than find a better arrangement, many Australians simply pay more for power than necessary.

This means that competition among electricity providers is dwindling and, as a result, promised innovations in customer service and technology, such as smart meters and bundling solar power and battery-storage systems are also falling by the wayside.

The report suggests that it may be time for the Government steps to act and ensure that customers get fairer prices and better service.

Opinion: It’s time to make them pay

Sure, it may be time for the Government to step in and protect us from overpaying for electricity. But really, the power is already in our hands; we just have to take them out from under our bums and make electricity providers more accountable.

And yes, the market is confusing, but all it needs is a little research to understand and then for us to take advantage of comparison tools, such as:

Now, find the best deal and play the power companies off against each other. The only way they will offer fairer prices, better deals and innovative solutions, is if they are forced to do so.

Right now, they’re sitting pretty. If we do an annual comparison and switch providers for a better deal, we will improve market competition.

It also goes without saying that the decision to deregulate the industry has done us no favours. It may well be time for the Government to act and re-regulate power prices.

But, so far, all we’ve heard is the standard rhetoric: “we’ll fix their mess” and “we’ll ensure that electricity is affordable and reliable for households and business”.

Australians are tired of being gouged. It would be nice to see if our government does more to ensure that we get a fairer deal, rather than continue to line the pockets of power companies owned by multi-national interests who pay little to no tax on these exorbitant profits.

In the meantime, the power, so to speak, is in our own hands.

Do you think you pay too much for electricity? Have you ever sourced a better deal on electricity costs? Do you use electricity comparison sites? If you have solar power and battery backup, do you find that your power bills are more manageable?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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92 Comments

Total Comments: 92
  1. 0
    0

    All the rubbish coming from the Libs about the greatest price reduction since the removal of the carbon tax is just that. RUBBISH. Now they are trying to blame SA, NSW, & Vic for the Gas shortage.
    Why did the current government abandon the Oil and Gas reserves in the Timor Sea. This would have solved Australias Gas supply issues for many years to come???? Whuy why why?

    • 0
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      Why? Because East Timor disputes the treaty with Australia and has gone to The Hague to get the matter clarified. The oil fields lie closer to East Timor than Australia and as such belong to East Timor.

      The gas exploration in some states has been either deferred or a moratorium put in place by state governments. The protesters, although small in number, caused the stoppages with lies and half truths. What is needed is a government to stand up to protesters, arrest those who trespass and/or damage equipment and insist that the courts stop releasing them without charge.

    • 0
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      Old Man you need to remove your Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses to see what is actually happening.

    • 0
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      Oh, I’m sorry P$cript, I thought I’d explained what is actually happening. I know this is not a debate but I would have though that if you disagreed you might have had the courage to put forward your reasons. To sit back and say that someone is wrong is not really adding much.

    • 0
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      Very well said Old Man. Sadly, this country is being sold down the drain by the ‘progressive left’ – ‘protestors’ …yet they’ll be the first ones screaming their heads off, if left in the dark, that the Government is not doing enough to pamper them.

    • 0
      0

      You’re on the money Old Man.
      Amazing the ignorance of your detractors!

    • 0
      0

      Why is this ‘revelation’ a surprise to anybody?
      Of course we are being done over with electricity prices and of course this is being orchestrated by the current and previous government.
      We need to remember the electioneering around this when Abbott was elected: “you have high electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax”……run by the coal industry to shut down renewables which get cheaper by the year.
      Australia’s energy rip offs are a national disgrace and the fact major media outlets say little is a sign of whom they support and it ain’t consumers.

      I find it odd that we are talking about gas reserve policy. Why was this conversation not happening at the time the Howard government started letting all of our wonderful gas reserves go into overseas ownership? Now Australians can p*ss off and the gas is on sold to Asia. What else would one expect from profit driven offshore investors…………other than lower taxes for them on top of the mega profits they are beginning to reap.

    • 0
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      Old Man, take a look at the map – Google Earth for preference, because it will show you the continental shelf for Australia.
      Next, take a look at where the energy source is located.

  2. 0
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    Oh my giddy aunt – here you are again taking those leftie rentseekers from the Grattan institute as the arbiters of all things factual about every business in Australia, all of whom, the Grattans say/imply, have one objective only – viz., to rip off the long suffering/downtrodden Australian public – oh such shock/horror – quick,rise up and smash them to pieces.

    What a load of twaddle.

    Australia’s energy problems are real and entirely the fault of successive governments who have, and continue to, lock up our natural resources from use in energy generation and willingly force the shutdown of perfectly good generators which have up to 20 years of good life left.

    We have ample capability to meet all of our needs if we got the Grattans and their accolytes out of the way.

    • 0
      0

      Oh my sick budgie, another politician. Guess whose fault it was???
      “”The previous government””

    • 0
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      Oh god Not a Bludger, you give them the facts, & get a page full of lefty propaganda instead of an intelligent discussion. No wonder we get such lousy governments when people believe this cr#p, & vote accordingly.

      The reason our electricity has skyrocketed is alternate energy. The power supply companies are forced to take all wind & solar cell generated power produced, at prices 3 & up to 5 times the cost of power from a coal fired power plant. This is mandated by governments pandering to, & trying to buy, green votes/preferences.

      This cost has to be passed on to the consumer. So next time you get your electricity bill, look to the government as the reason, & your neighbours roof, to see where you extra payment is going. Their solar cells are costing you a fortune, & you don’t even seem aware enough of the facts to know it.

      The South Australian blackouts are caused by ratbag power policies of lefty governments down there, with their stupidity of their alternative power policy, & the attendant problems of which any engineer could have, & did warn them of.

    • 0
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      Now I know why Australia is rated so low educationally against our OECD peers. Come on fellow, it’s time for you to sit up at the front of the room.

    • 0
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      Not a Bludger the Vic Govt had no say in the coal powered plant being closed in that state, it was wholly the decision of it’s French owners.

    • 0
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      What a load of rubbish Hasbeen, Renewable Energy has nothing to do with the high cost of energy, get rid of it and see what would happen, nothing, energy prices would not go down, it is the greedy power companies that cause the prices to rise and will continue to do so unless energy is regulated in this country.

    • 0
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      I guess it lefties that say Qatar is making $26 billion from the same amount of LNG that we export why we make 800 million. I guess it’s the lefties that say that the Japanese government collects $2.9 billion from import duty from the gas we export to them. We get just the same $800 million.

      My goodness you lying lefties…….

    • 0
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      Tongue in cheek I hope Wstation.

    • 0
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      Got to watch those lefties really hard. If you’re not careful someone other than a business owner might actually get ahead. Can’t have that.

    • 0
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      Not much point having 20yrs life left in the generator when the rest of the plant is beyond economical maint. and repair. The problem is since our State Governments have sold off OUR power stations no new power stations have been built. When the foreign companies who own them have run them into the ground they will just shut them down and walk away. They wont spend $Billions building new ones.

  3. 0
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    Not a bludger and you know all about the cause and the cure of Australia’s energy crisis because………………..
    Oh I know the INP told you. Back on your box???

  4. 0
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    In North Queensland there is a monopoly, as Ergon Energy is the sole provider. Yes, we pay exorbitant prices for electricity. So, we have no choice to source a better deal, & no comparison sites.

    • 0
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      Agree 100% Bronze Anzac. No competition means prices are going through the roof, but it’s OK for the SE Qld consumers. Like everything else in this State, if you don’t live in the SE then you get nothing!

  5. 0
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    How about the latest one, “if we built a coal fired power station in north Queensland it will reduce the cost of electricity to consumers.” har har.

    If the government (either one) could control the electricity price they would do something about it now. Because the cost is too high now, not “when and if”

    The area they are talking about has only one electricity provider Ergon Energy which means there is no market competition, so the public have no bargaining power.

  6. 0
    0

    Don’t know about, much less care about, the petty politics that continually raises it’s head on this forum. All I know is that in North Queensland we have no choice of provider as the government has a monopoly provider from whom it demands a large dividend. This dividend rises when the state government needs more money, which seems to be very regularly.

  7. 0
    0

    Would love to find a cheaper supplier but in Tasmania there is only one domestic supplier. A couple or so years ago the Government tried to open up the supply market but there were no takers so we are stuck with only one.

    • 0
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      Better of with one retailer There is really no difference in retailersas they all charge the same and put up their prices.

    • 0
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      Where do you live KB?, in NSW all retailers have different priced, I can ring my supplier on 2 different days and get 2 different prices if I haggle and threaten to change companies.

  8. 0
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    No I’ve tried to source a better deal and been caught out twice by these billing companies.
    That is all they are.
    43% is pretty good returns. we should all have shares in them. Now theres a good idea. The people could own the suppliers and the billing company and lower prices by that 43%.

    I tried to pay for my energy by buying energy shares and the dividend helps.

    Now I’m saving for solar panels and battery storage. I’m over it now.

  9. 0
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    In Victoria we enjoy the benefits of privatisation where the market decides the prices. Oops did I say benefit??
    The price gouging is out of hand but once the power stations and distribution companies owned the facilities it was open slather.

  10. 0
    0

    4b2 you are right on the money they gave our gas to the Japs for a zero return, read the last comment Mad As Hell that guy has done his home work,wish I had his knowledge.Please put a sock in it Not a Bludger you have as much brains as my parrot.

    • 0
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      It is now cheaper to import gas than use our own. I only use a gas BBQ and fill the cylinder once in about 3 years. It is cheaper for me to buy wood and burn it for heating. However I haven’t hard to buy any wood for over 10 years now as I get enough for free.

    • 0
      0

      Apparently it costs more to send gas from Qlnd to Nsw then it does to California USA, how ridiculous is that.

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