26 September 2023

ACT’s electricity code proving its worth

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Canberra residents are better informed and more confident in choosing a retail electricity plan that could save them money, according to survey results from the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

Senior Commissioner of ICRC, Joe Dimasi said the Electricity Code survey asked ACT electricity consumers whether they were aware of the new ACT Retail Electricity Code and whether it was helping them choose an electricity plan that best suited their circumstances.

“The Code introduced new rules to help customers engage confidently with the electricity retail energy market and to find a plan that would better suit their circumstances,” Commissioner Dimasi said.

“We knew electricity consumers have found electricity plans complex and difficult to understand,” he said.

“We also recognised that high electricity bills were adding to increasing cost of living pressures and the costs of doing business in the ACT.”

Commissioner Dimasi said the new rules in the Code required retailers to present electricity offers in a standardised way to make it easier for consumers to compare offers.

He said the survey measured the early impacts of the new rules, with 67 per cent of respondents expressing confidence that they were on the best electricity plan for them, “which is an increase from a similar 2019 survey when only 53 per cent of respondents were confident they were on the best plan”.

Commissioner Dimasi said 58 per cent of respondents who had used the reference price comparison found it helped them compare offers.

“The new rules have helped consumers to better understand the offers available in the market and find a cheaper plan,” he said.

“But the survey showed that many people are still confused by communications from their electricity retailer.

“Retailers need to do more work to communicate more clearly and effectively,” he said.

Commissioner Dimasi encouraged Canberrans to compare market offers to the reference price at least once a year.

The ICRC’s 26-page survey results report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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