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11 July 2018

Ombudsman urges governments to act on ACCC retail electricity pricing report

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman welcomed the ACCC’s retail electricity pricing report released today and urged state/territory and Australian governments to act on the recommendations that impact small businesses.

“An annual saving of 24% to 26% on electricity for any small business is significant,” Ombudsman Kate Carnell said. “It might literally save a business from closing or having to ‘let go’ staff.

“There are a number of realistic and achievable recommendations in the report that would support Australian small businesses.

“Offering a standard ‘default’ price, determined by the Australian Energy Regulator, would allow transparency for small businesses to compare deals and choose the best plan for their circumstances.

“At the moment, over 20% of small businesses are on high ‘standing’ offers, so moving to standard ‘default’ would save them up to $2,250 each year.

“We welcome the recommendation that consumer benefits are expanded to include small businesses, for example, streamlined price reporting.

“It is also vital that small businesses get the right tailored information and advice for their energy needs, and adequate funding for an effective awareness raising campaign is essential.

“Change is urgently needed and we hope these recommendations will be accepted and implemented this year.”