A proposal to reset Australia’s so-called “broken” electricity market would go a long way towards helping citizens save money.
Under this proposal, Aussies could potentially save over $400 each year while businesses can save as much as $2,250 if they are smart about selecting the best discounts.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission published its much-awaited report involving the energy sector, citing ways and means to address the surging power costs.
A crucial measure is mandating retailers to deliver a benchmark price that is right around the middle of the market, to end confusing and deceptive discounts.
“We cannot trust the retailers to set their own default prices to consumers,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
He projects that bills could go down up to 25% for the average household if the report’s 56 proposals are all enforced.
Sims also remarked that a decade of incorrect policy decisions had led to dire affordability issues for both consumers and businesses.
“The national electricity market is largely broken and needs to be reset,” Sims expressed.
Over two million small and medium businesses could typically save 24% on their bills under the ACCC’s proposals.
Commercial and industrial customers could see electricity costs plunge by 26%.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull conveyed that power companies have long taken advantage of customers and it has to stop.
“Australians are crying out for an energy policy that is focused on them,” he said during an event in Brisbane. “Lower prices, put the customer first, that’s my goal.”
The ACCC wants the Australian Energy Regulator to be handed more authority to hone in on market manipulation, and a cap placed on future mergers or acquisitions for firms with more than 20% market share.
It also proposed that governments effectively bankroll the establishment of new dispatchable power sources by ensuring long-term contracts for huge industrial and commercial users.
Some coalition backbenchers claim this would mean backing a new coal-fired power plant, but Turnbull stated it would be up to the market to decide which generation method it wants to implement.
The prime minister is adamant that the states embrace his national energy guarantee, which is geared at pulling down prices while ensuing reliability and cutting emissions.
Sims added that the national energy guarantee was “a necessary step” to bring forth affordability to the market.