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Fair for who? Victoria's Energy Fairness Plan

Fair for who? Victoria's Energy Fairness Plan

Victoria's Energy Fairness Plan was introduced via press release just days before the 2018 state election. While the Plan was an election commitment, the Victorian Government has not made the case for the alleged benefit the parcel of these reforms will bring energy consumers.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons May 27 2021
Winter energy bills: Avoid a shock

Winter energy bills: Avoid a shock

With colder weather comes an increase in electricity and gas use. The AEC has published analysis of average electricity and gas costs by region using the latest energy consumption data. It shows seasonal breakdowns of energy use for each major network, as well as state by state average gas and electricity costs. It also offers simple tips on how people can save on their bills.

BY Hamish Fitzsimmons Apr 29 2021
The retail regulatory framework: Still fit for purpose?

The retail regulatory framework: Still fit for purpose?

During the height of COVID-19, Australian retailers were concerned that the impacts of government interventions might unintentionally impact the ability of retailers to meet their upstream obligations. The impacts on retailers of providing additional protections – on top of the already notable consumer protections in place - and the longer-term debt implications for customers remained a concern.

BY Ben Barnes Apr 08 2021
Customer benefits don’t necessarily benefit the customer

Customer benefits don’t necessarily benefit the customer

A perennial discussion in energy market policy is the contest between what we are ultimately trying to achieve: “customer benefits” or “market benefits”. When making market rules, or building monopoly assets, rules require that we assess “net market” benefits. A number of recent government policies have been justified on customer benefit assessments alone.

BY Ben Skinner Mar 18 2021
Putting VEPC to the test: Is shopping around really worth just $45?

Putting VEPC to the test: Is shopping around really worth just $45?

When grand statements are made about the value of engaging in the retail electricity market, they are generally made by one of two kinds of people: Those who claim to know something about the market, and those that don’t. The latter category tends to be the domain of commentators aiming for effect. The former category tends to revolve around data.

BY Ben Barnes Sep 05 2019
BEAP: How well will it work for small business?

BEAP: How well will it work for small business?

On Monday the Commonwealth Government launched the Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP). The $11.7 million program aims to help small businesses across the nation save money on their energy bills and increase their energy efficiency.

BY Ben Barnes Aug 29 2019
Re-regulating the market: Short term gains and long term pains

Re-regulating the market: Short term gains and long term pains

Re-regulating the retail price is back on the agenda with the Federal Government determined to implement a default offer and the Victorian Government announcing its “same same but different” Victorian Default Offer. The Federal Government says the changes will mean significant savings for “ripped off” Australian families, but is that really the case?

BY Ben Barnes Mar 20 2019
Reference bills and default offers: What are the pros and cons

Reference bills and default offers: What are the pros and cons

The AER has been asked to develop a mechanism to determine the price of a default electricity market offer and to consider establishing a reference bill for easy deal comparisons. So what’s the difference between the two approaches and what are their pros and cons? We take a look.

BY Ben Barnes Dec 14 2018
Incentive-based versus cost-of-service regulation

Incentive-based versus cost-of-service regulation

The Rate of Return continues to be debated. Most recently irrigators have argued that profits should be regulated. The fact of the matter is that the AER does not, and should not regulate profits we take a look at the difference between incentive and cost-of-service regulation.

BY David Markham Nov 01 2018
Generator rebidding: Fair game for criticism?

Generator rebidding: Fair game for criticism?

Earlier this year generators were put under the microscope following claims that they were “gaming” the market and, as a result, costing consumers millions of dollars. But is that what the AEMC found when it took a closer look.

BY Carl Kitchen Oct 18 2018
HILDA Survey: Have the dynamics of home energy spending changed?

HILDA Survey: Have the dynamics of home energy spending changed?

Rising power bills and the reasons for increases have featured prominently in recent public discussion about the cost of living in Australia. The National Energy Guarantee and last month’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report into electricity prices have primed consumers and the cost of living will play a key role in upcoming election campaigns in Victoria and NSW before a Federal election.

BY Nick Leys Aug 23 2018
Home energy affordability: Accommodating the case for energy efficiency

Home energy affordability: Accommodating the case for energy efficiency

The amount a household pays for energy is a product of two basic factors: how much the household uses and how much it costs. Relatively inexpensive retail energy costs during the last decades of the 20th century masked the relative energy inefficiency of the stock of dwellings in Australia.

BY Tess Fitzgerald Dec 01 2017
Electricity: 2.17 per cent of average household expenditure

Electricity: 2.17 per cent of average household expenditure

This week the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced its revised weightings for the consumer price index. It was the first revision of its kind since 2011. The revision showed the changes in the average cost and consumption of household expenditure items over the past six years.

BY Matthew Warren Nov 10 2017
Victorian retail energy:  Dealing with debts and disconnections

Victorian retail energy: Dealing with debts and disconnections

Victoria's Essential Services released its most recent quarterly report last Friday, and in doing so sought to highlight that energy prices are rising, along with disconnections in Victoria. But are the figures the full story and how do they sit with proposed policy changes?

BY Sarah McNamara Jul 07 2017
Retailers continue to improve in Victoria

Retailers continue to improve in Victoria

For a second year running the number of electricity and gas disconnection cases decreased according to the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) 2016 Annual Report. This result demonstrates the shift in approach by energy retailers who are taking a more customer-focused path towards resolving affordability issues.

BY Panos Priftakis Oct 27 2016
Household trends: What do they mean for power generation?

Household trends: What do they mean for power generation?

With urbanisation and more people moving to live in city centres how will the future power system deliver electricity to households? Are we starting to see two distinct categories of residential energy users?

BY Emma Richardson Jun 23 2016
New framework comes into the picture

New framework comes into the picture

After a year of consultation, the Victorian ESC's final report on hardship has been released. It looked at how retailers support consumers and put forward a new framework. We take a look at what's in it.

BY AEC Mar 24 2016
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