Published on Aug 17, 2015

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A draft report on the competitiveness of the NSW retail electricity market has revealed small businesses stand to save up to $610 per year by switching providers.

The Review of the Performance and Competitiveness of the Retail Electricity Market in NSW, released by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), also found around 25 percent of small business and residential customers had switched providers in the past 12 months.

IPART Chairman Dr Peter Boxall said the draft report indicated competition in the retail electricity market was not impacted following removal of price regulation last year.

“We found that there are no substantial barriers for smaller retailers to enter the NSW market,” Dr Boxall said.

“This provides the most effective form of protection from the exercise of market power.”

Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts welcomed the draft report’s findings that competition in the NSW retail electricity market was working effectively.

“Reforms to the retail electricity market are boosting competition and driving down prices,” Mr Roberts said.

Dr Boxall said increased competition was positive for the sector and could lead to development of new products that give customers the opportunity to lower their costs through more efficient use of electricity.

It pays to compare
While regulation changes in the energy market had delivered increased savings, the report found it coincided with increased complaints related to billing, customer service and marketing.

IPART recommended the NSW Government promote awareness of services aimed at helping customers find the best retail energy deal.  The Tribunal singled out the Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy website as an effective and independent resource to compare available offers.

Have your say
Submissions to the Draft Report are due by 4 September 2015. IPART will consider these submissions in preparing its Final Report to the Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy by the end of November 2015.

A copy of the Draft Report and information about how to make submissions can be found on IPART’s website.