The ACT Government has welcomed a new rule from the national energy regulator to stamp out dodgy discounting offers from energy retailers.
From July 1, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) rule will ban energy retailers from discounting off-market retail contracts where all the rates in the contract (such as usage rates and daily charges) are above the equivalent rates in a standing offer.
Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Shane Rattenbury said these types of deals were deliberately designed to confuse consumers by inflating the base rate to make discounts appear bigger than they actually were.
“That said, we encourage consumers to keep an eye out for discounts, and to make sure you know what you are signing up to, and choose what’s best for your household or business,” he said.
The new rule comes out of meetings last year between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the seven largest retailers on a range of measures to improve outcomes for electricity consumers, including more transparency in bills.
A particular concern raised was that percentage discounts contribute to consumer confusion and that energy offers with large percentage discounts do not always lead to the lowest bills for consumers.