Retail energy market performance update for Quarter 3, 2016-17

Segment: 
Category: 
Retail energy market update
Release date: 
14 June 2017

Overview

The AER has published its retail performance data for Q3 2016-17.

Summary of data:

  • The number of customers switching to other electricity retailers increased from last quarter in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia and decreased in New South Wales. Gas switching rates were consistent with last quarter.
  • The number of complaints to retailers varies across each jurisdiction, with most residential complaints made in New South Wales (1.4 per cent of customers), Queensland and South Australia (1.3 per cent of customers), followed by Tasmania (0.9 per cent), and the ACT (0.4 per cent).
  • Complaint rates decreased from last quarter in all jurisdictions.
  • Residential electricity disconnection rates increased in all jurisdictions except the ACT. Residential gas disconnections increased in all jurisdictions except the ACT. Overall gas and electricity disconnections increased from last quarter.
  • The number of customers repaying electricity debts (without the assistance of a hardship program) increased or was stable in all jurisdictions, except Queensland. The number of customers repaying gas debts (without the assistance of a hardship program) increased or was stable in all jurisdictions except the ACT.
  • Average residential electricity debt levels (excluding hardship program customers) increased from last quarter in all jurisdictions except Queensland. Average gas debt levels (excluding hardship program customers) increased or was stable in all jurisdictions except South Australia.
  •  Average residential electricity debt levels were:
    • $ 567 in Queensland
    • $ 663 in New South Wales
    • $ 876 in South Australia
    • $ 759 in Tasmania and
    • $ 870 in the ACT.
  • Average residential gas debt levels were:
    • $ 361 in Queensland
    • $ 537 in New South Wales
    • $ 368 in South Australia and
    • $ 655 in the ACT.
  • All jurisdictions, except the ACT, reported increases in the numbers of electricity customers using payment plans to repay energy debt:
    • Around 2.8 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, 2.2 per cent in Queensland, around 1.1 per cent in Tasmania and 0.6 per cent in the ACT.
  • Generally fewer customers use payment plans to repay gas debt. There are more gas customers on payment plans in Queensland (0.9 per cent), however New South Wales (1.6 per cent), the ACT (0.6 per cent) and South Australia (1.8 per cent) reported slight decreases.
  • Hardship programs are most commonly used in South Australia, with 1.7 per cent of electricity customers and 1.7 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 0.6 per cent of gas customers are on hardship programs.