According to its latest electricity markets report covering prices between July 2018 and December 2019, retail prices paid have fallen for many customers.
However, it also found that median effective price paid by customers on market offers is lower than that paid by customers on standing offers.
“Residential customers with a median annual electricity usage could save around $219 a year by switching from a standing offer to a market offer, while small businesses on standing offers could save about $424 a year,” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.
“It continues to pay for households and small businesses on market offers to shop around, especially those with one of the big three electricity providers, because these customers often paid more than customers with other providers.”
Under electricity retail pricing and advertising reforms introduced in July 2019, retailers across New South Wales, South Australia, South East Queensland and Victoria are required to show how their offers compare to the Default Market Offer or Victorian Default Offer prices set by the regulator.
The ACCC’s electricity market report also examined combined data in New South Wales, South Australia, South East Queensland and Victoria for the third quarter of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018.
It found that the median effective price paid by customers on standing offers fell by 7.5 per cent for small business, whereas the median effective price paid by customers on market offers fell by 1.5 per cent for small business.
“There are still too many customers who do not achieve conditional discounts on these types of plans, which means they pay higher prices that can exacerbate existing financial difficulties,” Mr Sims said.
“We urge retailers to abide by best practice for their vulnerable customers and help them move to the most suitable electricity plans.”