The Australian Energy Regulator is today seeking views on proposed updates to its Retail Pricing Information Guidelines to reflect the introduction of the new electricity reference price.
The Guidelines set out how retailers must present the prices of their standing and market offers (or ‘plans’) to customers, and the information retailers must provide to the AER’s price comparison website, Energy Made Easy. The Guidelines aim to assist residential customers and small business customers when they consider and compare the prices of the different plans from retailers.
The draft Guidelines propose updates to reflect key changes designed to help consumers to access better energy deals, as a consequence of a new Electricity Retail Code made by the Commonwealth Government. The key proposed changes relate to:
- the new ‘reference price’ which is a maximum standing offer price for electricity supply to small customers, set by the AER, to protect consumers who do not engage in the market for one reason or another, and
- new requirements to ensure that conditional discounts are not the most prominent price-related feature in an advertisement, and any conditions on discounts are clearly displayed.
The draft Guidelines are accompanied by the Notice of Draft Instrument, which explains the reasons for the proposed changes and the development of the draft Guidelines.
Invitation for submissions
The AER is seeking views on whether there are any practical barriers or impediments to implementing the proposed changes to the Guidelines. Interested parties are invited to make a submission on the draft Guidelines by close of business, Friday 26 July 2019.