Staying connected Cost of Living
Victorians are being pushed to the edge by electricity price rises. Our bills are now the second highest in Australia (following South Australia). Electricity prices are rising faster than inflation, wages and income support payments. People are making trade-offs on food and other essentials, and sometimes experiencing great psychological stress, in order to stay connected.
This submission ‘Retail electricity supply and pricing ‘ argues electricity can be made more affordable through:
- More extensive, consistent data collection requirements in relation to the cost components of retail electricity pricing and the causes of price changes, which can inform policy development to put downward pressure on prices
- Transparent electricity pricing—current pricing is confusing and hinders competition. The use of comparison rates for electricity pricing could help people better compare electricity offers and improve competition
- Potential regulatory action in relation to the use of ambiguous, confusing ‘benefit periods’, which can result in people lapsing onto relatively expensive electricity deals
- Reform of fixed charges, to encourage competition around total retail costs—currently, some retail costs are hidden in the fixed charge and are arguably shielded from competition
- introducing an independent energy broker to help people find a more affordable energy deal.
Image: Terry Freedman/CC