An independent review into the Victorian retail energy market has led to new rules for energy companies, meaning retailers will be required to advise consumers on the best energy offer available to them.

The review found customers were paying too much for energy and recommended a range of measures to put downward pressure on prices, including overhauling energy retailer marketing practices to put customers back in charge.

“These changes will force retailers to come clean with consumers who are paying too much for energy,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio.

The Victorian Government has asked Essential Services Commission (ESC) to monitor and regularly report on the competitiveness of Victoria’s energy retail market and to implement several review recommendations.

The proposed changes will require retailers to:

  • Offer a ‘best offer’ to each customer at least twice a year
  • Provide advanced notice of any changes to prices, discounts or benefits
  • Honour a new customer entitlement to provide customers with clear advice that helps them find the best contract for them.

This draft decision by the ESC will ensure retailers are more transparent in their marketing practices and builds on the Victorian Government’s Power Saving Bonus, which has encouraged hundreds of thousands of Victorians to compare their energy deal and find a better offer.

Stakeholder consultation on the new marketing requirements will now take place, with a final decision by the end of October. The proposed changes will take effect by 1 July next year.

The Government is currently considering its final response to the independent review into the Victorian retail energy market.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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