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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has found that access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is improving, according to a new report released in September.

The Inquiry into the National Electricity Market – August 2019 report is the second in the ACCC’s ongoing inquiry into the National Electricity Market.

The report welcomes the introduction of the Retail Electricity Code which enabled the Default Market Offer (DMO) to take effect on 1 July 2019.

The ACCC found that since the start of the code there has been a significant fall in standing offer prices.

The price safety net has locked in better deals for up to 794,000 residential and small business customers on standing offers in New South Wales, South Australia and south-east Queensland.

Based on initial analysis, the ACCC estimates households on standing offers could have already saved up to $190.

There has also been a reduction in sneaky discounting practices, with retailers moving away from the use of conditional discounts based on excessively high standing offers. From 1 July, retailers are now required to advertise their offers against a common benchmark.

However, the report highlights it still pays to shop around for a better deal. As at 12 July 2019, the cheapest market offer is $290–$380 lower than the price safety net in NSW, $260 lower in south-east Queensland and $300 lower in SA.

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