Electricity bills to be monitored by ACCC

Rebecca Gredley
(Australian Associated Press)


Energy giants will be under the consumer watchdog’s microscope as it prepares to monitor the cost and supply of electricity over the next seven years.

An inquiry will examine whether wholesale cost savings are being passed on to customers in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced on Wednesday.

The watchdog will submit its first report to the federal treasurer by the end of March next year, and is currently seeking submissions on how best to conduct the probe into the consequence of policy changes.

The ACCC will report at least every six months information obtained from energy companies.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s suite of energy policies are in line with recommendations from the ACCC’s inquiry into retail power prices.

The measures include putting pressure on energy companies to scrap standing offers by the start of next year, otherwise the government will introduce a default market price.

AGL last week announced it would do so, with Mr Taylor now looking to the other giants to follow its lead.

The ACCC will inquire if such recommendations are leading to lower prices for Australians, chair Rod Sims says.

“If we find problems in the market that aren’t being fixed by existing policy tools, we will be making recommendations to government on what extra changes are needed,” he said.


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