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Submission on the Australian Energy Market Commission's draft National Energy Retail Amendment

January 2020


The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)'s draft National Energy Retail Amendment (Regulating Conditional Discounting) Rule presents an opportunity to help consumers get the clarity and fairness they deserve when it comes to energy prices. The AEMC's updated Rule takes into consideration the harms caused by unfair discounting practices, but does not provide enough consumer protections to prevent these harms from occurring in future. 

Retailers are misleading customers into paying more for energy by making it difficult to compare offers and offering customers contracts with conditions they cannot meet. Conditional discounts can be characterised as 'late payment penalties' because they result in a substantial cost to consumers, who are already paying some of the world's highest prices to access energy.

CHOICE supports the ban of conditional discounts. Any late fees that energy companies can charge should be restricted to a singular, low, capped late fee that is determined by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). CHOICE's comments focus on the regulation of conditional discounts for electricity, but CHOICE supports similar interventions to be enforced in the gas market.

Download submission (PDF)

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