NSW electricity and gas customers can save by switching energy plans
Our final findings suggest that NSW electricity and gas customers are paying too much when they stay long-term with their supplier’s standard offer.
2019-20 saw the implementation of the default market offer (DMO) which effectively caused standing offers to fall by around 9% from June 2019 to June 2020. For the more competitive market offers, which 87% of residential customers are on, the median offers fell for customers in the Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy distribution areas, but increased slightly for customers in the Essential Energy distribution area (prices vary by the distribution network area as there are different network costs for each distributor, which are passed on to customers in that area).
From June 2019 to June 2020, there were modest price increases in gas offers available for customers in the Jemena region (95% of gas customers). Offers then fell again in July 2020, continuing a trend of relatively stable gas prices.
Customers should seek out a better deal using Government run websites like EnergyMadeEasy and Energy Switch.
This year IPART’s review also assessed the impact of COVID-19 on the retail energy markets.
Many customers will also be using energy differently as a result of the changes from COVID-19 restrictions, such as work from home arrangements, which may result in higher than expected bills.
COVID-19 is likely to impact the retail energy market over the coming year. Retailers are likely to take on more debt as customers with reduced income could have difficulty paying their bills.
Customers should get in touch with their retailer if they are in financial hardship.
We also found several indicators show that competition and performance has continued to develop in the retail electricity and gas markets. We have seen more retailers enter these markets and take market share away from the three largest retailers.
Energy consumers have reported increased levels of satisfaction and the number of complaints to the Energy Ombudsman has fallen during 2019‑20, indicating better service to customers.
While there have been positive trends in the development of the retail energy markets, advances in technology and increasing digitisation of services mean that the retail markets can continue to develop to deliver better outcomes for all energy consumers. In future, reviews of the retail market performance will incorporate an assessment of the development and roll-out of innovative products.
There are reviews underway looking to improve the future design of the electricity market for consumers, including how consumers interact with the market and how information is provided to consumers.