Retail energy market update
28 March 2017
The AER published retail performance data for Q2 2016-17 on 17 March 2017.
Summary of data:
- The number of customers switching to other electricity retailers increased from last quarter. Gas switching rates were higher in the ACT and NSW, flat in SA and lower in Victoria and Queensland.
- The number of complaints to retailers varies across each jurisdiction, with most residential complaints made in South Australia and New South Wales (3.2 per cent of customers), and followed by Queensland (2.4 per cent), the ACT (2 per cent) and Tasmania (1 per cent).
- Complaint rates decreased from last quarter in all jurisdictions except Tasmania.
- The number of customers repaying electricity debts (without the assistance of a hardship program) increased in all jurisdictions except Queensland. The number of customers repaying gas debts (without the assistance of a hardship program) increased in all jurisdictions.
- Average residential electricity debt levels (excluding hardship program customers) increased from last quarter in all jurisdictions except the ACT and Tasmania. Average gas debt levels (excluding hardship program customers) increased in South Australia and the ACT and decreased elsewhere.
- Average residential electricity debt levels were:
- $569 in Queensland
- $643 in New South Wales
- $814 in South Australia,
- $739 in Tasmania and
- $795 in the ACT.
- Average residential gas debt levels were:
- $359 in Queensland
- $512 in New South Wales
- $393 in South Australia and
- $473 in the ACT.
- All jurisdictions, except Queensland electricity customers, reported increases in the numbers of customers using payment plans to repay energy debt:
- Around 2.6 per cent of electricity customers are using payment plans to repay debt in New South Wales. This compares with 2.6 per cent in South Australia, 1.7 per cent in Queensland, around 1.1 per cent in Tasmania and 0.8 per cent in the ACT.
- Generally fewer customers use payment plans to repay gas debt. There are more gas customers on payment plans in South Australia (1.8 per cent) and New South Wales (1.7 per cent), followed by the ACT (0.7 per cent) and Queensland (0.5 per cent).
- Hardship programs are most commonly used in South Australia, with 1.8 per cent of electricity customers and 1.4 per cent of gas customers receiving this additional assistance. In New South Wales 0.8 per cent of electricity customers and around 0.6 per cent of gas customers are on hardship programs. In Queensland 1 per cent of electricity customers and 0.7 per cent of gas customers are on hardship programs.
- Electricity disconnection rates dropped in all jurisdictions. Residential gas disconnections decreased in South Australia, were consistent with last quarter in the ACT and increased in NSW and Queensland.