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May 16 2024

Statement on Electricity Bill Relief

The peak body for electricity retailers, the Australian Energy Council said calls for mean testing of electricity bill relief would add significant complexity to the rollout and delay the relief from getting into the hands of households.

The Australian Energy Council supports the decision to provide relief directly via customer bills but said it would not be possible for retailers to determine a customer’s eligibility if a means test was used.

The Council’s interim Chief Executive Ben Barnes said, “We can understand the calls for means testing, but introducing one will add significant complexity and increase the time it will take to get relief onto electricity bills as retailers do not have access to customer income data. In contrast, providing relief to all customers substantially simplifies the process and is the quickest way to deliver cost of living relief to households and small businesses.

“Last year’s energy bill relief measures, while welcomed, proved to be challenging to implement to ensure all those eligible received the support. As a result, delivery took months longer than it would have if the rebate was applied to all bills.

“Universal bill relief for all households will ensure that all customers who are doing it tough actually receive the benefit and don’t fall through the cracks.”

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

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