The peak body for energy retailers and generators, the Australian Energy Council, says the draft Default Market Offer (DMO) and Victorian Default Offer (VDO) prices announced today reflect extremely tough market conditions.
The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said the price changes suggested by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and Victorian Essential Services Commission (ESC) are the result of a turbulent period, which saw wholesale market prices rise substantially.
"These draft decisions show that energy regulators are balancing the need to keep consumer prices as low as possible, while ensuring retailers can recover their costs.
“We recognise the proposed increase is difficult news for many people. There is no ideal time for a price rise and we know that it comes on top of other increasing cost of living pressures in the economy.
“Unfortunately, higher wholesale prices have left no room for retailers to absorb costs and these draft decisions reflect those pressures. As flagged by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, retail businesses are already dealing with razor-thin margins, and it is critical that the regulated price is set at a level that allows them to recover their costs. Failing retailers would be a worst-case scenario for everyone.
“Today’s announcements are also a prompt for consumers to review their energy deal. These default offers are the benchmark price and not the best price in the market, which is why around 90% of customers are already on market deals. Shopping around can really save you money and your retailer might also have a cheaper offer available for you.
“It’s also really important to contact your retailer as soon as possible if you think you will have difficulty paying your energy bills,” said Ms McNamara. “Retailers have excellent support programs to help their customers get back on their feet.
“There are also a range of government rebates, concessions, and emergency relief available for eligible customers. Over the coming months, our members will be delivering the Federal Government’s bill relief package, which includes direct financial customer support to help pay power bills.”
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