Bipartisan Review Into Electricity And Gas Retail Markets

The Andrews Labor Government has announced a bipartisan review into Victoria’s electricity and gas retail markets, led by former Victorian MPs John Thwaites and Terry Mulder.

Victoria’s electricity market is considered one of the most competitive in the world, with more than 25 electricity retailers and 10 gas retailers giving Victorian consumers more options than any other state in Australia.

Research has shown that consumers lack confidence when comparing and understanding pricing offers, and too few are shopping around for the best deal.

The review will consider:

  • barriers that stop consumers from obtaining better offers
  • whether action is required to improve retail energy markets in Victoria
  • ways to assist everyday consumers to obtain the benefits of a competitive market

According to analysis from the Labor Government’s independent price comparator Victorian Energy Compare, nine out of every 10 users can save money by switching energy offers, and seven out of every 10 users are able to save $220 or more on electricity alone.

Despite the savings available, nine per cent of residential electricity consumers and 11 per cent of residential gas consumers in Victoria remain on more expensive standing offers.

Mr Thwaites served as Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 to 2007 in the Bracks Government. Mr Mulder served as Minister for Roads and Minister for Public Transport in the Baillieu/Napthine Governments.

The Terms of Reference for the review can be accessed  at: http://www.delwp.vic.gov.au/energy/about-energy/policy-and-strategy

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“We’re putting people first by investigating how the energy markets are working to deliver the benefits of competition to consumers.”

While Victorians enjoy the lowest prices in the country, reports indicate that retailers are also reaping the highest profits compared to other states and territories.”

“The review will also look at whether energy retailers are using the impending closure of Hazelwood as an excuse to increase prices.”