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May 25 2023

Default Market Offer confirmed as retailers work to deliver direct bill relief

Government rebates being delivered on electricity bills from July will make a real difference to the most vulnerable households and businesses, according to the peak body for retailers, the Australian Energy Council (AEC).

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) today released the Final Determination of its Default Market Offer, the price safety net for customers not on market deals. The determination is largely in line with the AER’s draft released in March.

The AEC’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said there was always a need to balance keeping consumer costs as low as possible while ensuring retailers can recover their costs.

“As flagged by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), retail businesses are already operating on razor thin margins, which leaves no room to absorb higher wholesale costs, so it is critical that the regulator ensures these can be recovered.

“But these higher prices come at a challenging time for consumers dealing with increased cost-of-living pressures. Retailers have been working with the Government to ensure its Energy Price Relief Plan rebates will be delivered directly via customers’ bills starting from July.

“The Federal rebates, along with additional support from State and Territory governments, will be up to $500 per customer - which should assist with cost-of-living pressures.

“Getting assistance directly to customers via their power bill is the most effective way for the Government to make a difference in the current high-cost environment.

“Eligible customers include those already receiving energy concessions and rebates. Other eligible customers will be contacted by the Government in September advising them how they can receive the payment.

“Energy retailers also have a range of other support options for customers having difficulty paying their energy bills. Concerned customers should contact their retailer as early as possible to access that support,” Ms McNamara said.

“It is also important for consumers to ensure they are on the cheapest deal available to them - that is the best way to keep energy costs down in the longer term. You can gauge the best deal for your circumstances through the AER’s independent comparison website www.energymadeeasy.com.au.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Australian Energy Council is the peak industry body for electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in the competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. AEC members generate and sell energy to 10 million homes and businesses and are major investors in renewable energy generation. The AEC supports reaching net-zero by 2050 as well as a 55 per cent emissions reduction target by 2035 and is committed to delivering the energy transition for the benefit of consumers.           

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