Testing Comprehension of the Reference Price: Research by AER and ACCC

Special report
Release date: 
26 June 2020


Our research closely examines the best ways for retailers to communicate energy price comparison information.

The research:

  • engaged 2,500 consumers to test real-world responses to terminology and description
  • presented consumers with a range of realistic mock scenarios to identify what information would best enhance consumer understanding, and
  • is an important joint initiative to provide a better, evidence-based understanding of consumer concerns and preferences.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) undertook interviews with consumers and conducted an online randomised control test to gauge consumer understanding of the concepts and potential alternative wording. The report makes a number of important findings that demonstrate how wording in energy advertisements can improve comprehension. The insights from this research can influence how information is presented to consumers.

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