New rule change a win for energy customers
EWON welcomes the Australian Energy Market Commission's (AEMC) recent change to the National Energy Rules that means customers must be warned before retailers change energy prices.
Under the new rule, retailers must give customers at least five business days’ notice before their energy prices change. Currently, retailers don't need to notify customers about price changes until up to three months after the change has taken effect, meaning some customers may not realise prices have increased until they receive a higher than usual bill.
Retailers must also set out the energy tariffs and charges that apply before and after the change, the date of the price change, and advise customers that they can request their historical billing and energy usage data from them directly.
The AEMC outlines the following benefits for customers:
- Customers can switch earlier to a new plan or new retailer that better serves their needs, before price changes take effect.
- Access to more timely information may help customers do other things that may help them save money, such as accessing their billing and usage data to work out how they can best manage the change in price.
- Customers can more confidently participate in the energy market by being prompted to secure the best offer available or investigate energy efficiency tools and distributed generation like solar.
- Advance notice gives customers time to change their budgeting plans or electricity usage if they want. They can also contact their existing retailer and negotiate a new retail plan to start right away.
The new rule will be rolled out to NSW energy customers on 1 February 2019.
For more information see the AEMC website.