Government websites make benefits of energy discounts clear

Victorian electricity consumers continue to benefit from the range of electricity offers available through competition, the energy industry said today.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive Matthew Warren said there are a broad range of electricity offers available and, as with any consumer good, discounts are offered in the marketing of these deals.

“Ultimately, like any other good, energy consumers should be guided by the cost of each deal,” Mr Warren said.

Governments already provide independent cost comparator websites to help consumers – Energy Compare in Victoria and Energy Made Easy in the rest of Australia.

“These websites already show the full cost to consumers of each offer from different retailers - with and without the discounts.

“The beauty of these websites is that they provide full transparency – they show the headline cost without the discounts and the cost if the discounts are applied, so consumers can see the value of conditional discounts like paying on time to decide what works best for them.

“If you go into a clothing store there might be a higher percentage discount on an item in one store compared to another, yet the overall price you pay could be higher than in the store next door which is not offering a discount or offering a lower discount.

“The key is to shop around and consider what suits you best and determine the ultimate cost you are likely to pay – which is where comparison websites can help.

“We support the advice of Victoria’s Essential Services Commission to make sure you understand the terms and conditions before agreeing to an offer and to ask any questions if you are unclear.

“Competitive electricity deals continue to provide the best value to households.  Any moves to limit discounting or to re-regulate the market will simply lead to less competition and ultimately lead to higher prices.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.

Media contact             Carl Kitchen                0401 691 342