Victoria releases gas review findings

The independent panel investigating Victoria’s gas and electricity retail markets has recommended a range of measures to drive down power prices and protect consumers.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio welcomed the release of the Independent Review into the Retail Electricity & Gas Retail Markets in Victoria, commissioned by the Andrews Labor Government.

“We will carefully consider all recommendations that put people first and help drive down power prices,” said Ms D’Ambrosio.

“This review gives us a plan of action that will see a better deal for Victorians.”

The bi-partisan review – undertaken by John Thwaites, Terry Mulder and Patricia Faulkner – is the product of detailed research into energy retail prices, and extensive consultation with consumers and industry.

It looks at whether the electricity and gas retail markets are operating in the best interests of Victorians, and provides 11 recommendations aimed at getting a better deal for Victorians:

  • Basic service offer: require all retailers to provide an offer that is not greater than the regulated price
  • Abolish standing offers
  • Marketing information on prices to be easily comparable
  • Contract periods, practices and variations to be clear and fair
  • Promoting access to smart meter data to assist customers to manage bills and increase energy efficiency
  • Protecting low income and vulnerable customers with increased assistance and market awareness
  • Brokerage and collective bargaining on behalf of low income and vulnerable customers
  • Monitoring the market via the Essential Services Commission (ESC)
  • An energy market code based around the customer following an ESC review
  • Full coverage of new energy services via expanded powers to the Energy Water Ombudsman Victoria
  • Request COAG Energy Council to review the structure of the energy market to ensure its working in the long-term interest of customers.

 

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