03.What CHOICE wants
- An independent website and call
centre with nationwide reach that
allows clear, simple and objective
comparison of energy providers
and plans so consumers can find
ones that best suit their circumstances.
One such resource is the Australian
Energy Regulator’s energymadeeasy.gov.au, which already exists as part of the
stalled National Energy Customer Framework, but politicisation of the
energy issue and lack of consensus
between states means only consumers
in the ACT and Tasmania can use this
site to compare providers and prices.
- Access to standardised price fact
sheets to help consumers compare
complex energy products. This was
planned for under the National
Energy Customer Framework.
- A national energy savings initiative
to help households reduce costs.
- A voluntary code of conduct for
energy comparison websites that
ensures commercial switching sites
are truly independent, accurate and
comprehensive if advertised as such.
CHOICE delivered a super complaint
about energy comparison sites in 2011 under a pilot program with NSW
- A resource by which consumers can
access their own consumption data
to help them to become more energy efficient
and encourage genuine
competition and product differentiation
in energy retailing.
CHOICE recently launched Take
the Power Back – join the campaign!
One of the first steps in figuring out how to keep your electricity bills under control is making sure you know what kind of contract you're on.
Standing Offer Contracts
You’re on a standing offer
electricity or gas contract if
you move to a new address
and accept whichever retailer
is aligned with the energy
distributor in that area. The
terms and conditions of these
default contracts are determined
by state regulators, and prices
will be the same in a given
network area. The exception
is Victoria, where prices are
In states where you can choose
among retailers (every state and
territory except NT, Tasmania and
parts of WA) you can opt for a market
rather than standard offer contract.
With market contracts, energy prices
as well as terms and conditions vary
between retailers. Market contacts
generally offer discounted prices and
other incentives (such as bonus point
programs) as well as different billing
and payment options, but can also
impose start-up, exit and other fees.