VCOSS MEDIA RELEASE
Victorian energy retailers are attempting to block power users from getting a fairer priced deal, the state’s peak social advocacy body has warned.
The State Government is preparing to introduce a Victorian Default Offer (VDO) which will establish a regulated and fairly-priced energy deal every Victorian can access.
The Victorian Council of Social Service CEO Emma King said the reform, which will take effect from 1 July, will make it easier for Victorians to get a fair power deal.
“A lot of people are stuck on expensive and intentionally confusing energy plans, and don’t have the time or expert knowledge to broker a better deal.”
“This new default offer will ensure they can get a fair price.”
A regulated price was a key recommendation of the independent Thwaites-Mulder Review of Victoria’s Electricity and Gas Retail Markets.
But Ms King warned the power companies are trying to drive a wrecking ball through the reform.
“They’re lobbying the government to water down the Victorian Default Offer before it’s even begun.”
“The power companies fear this change because it will put power back into the hands of consumers and involve a crackdown on confusing discount advertising.”
“The more they squeal, the more you know Victoria is on the right track.”
In an opinion piece in today’s edition of The Age, Ms King said more than 50,000 Victorians had their power cut off last year because they couldn’t afford to pay the bill. Countless others are making heartbreaking sacrifices like skipping meals or cutting out heating, just to stay connected.
“At the same time, these power companies are making mega profits selling an essential service,” Ms King said.
“The status quo is completely untenable. Wild market deregulation hasn’t worked, especially for those on low incomes or facing vulnerability.”
“We urge power companies to put politics and big profits aside, and support the Victorian Default Offer so everyone can get a fair power deal.”