Explained: The Biggest Changes to Electricity Offers in a Generation

9Saver unlocks new energy discounts in time for winter and the July 1 changes.

Big discounts could soon be a thing of the past thanks to some of the biggest changes to energy offers in years.

On July 1 electricity bills will be slashed for almost 800,000 households in New South Wales, South East Queensland and South Australia.

The changes announced as 9Saver unlocks a series of new energy discounts.

9Saver Consumer Campaigner Christopher Zinn spoke to Today’s Deborah Knight about how the new rules will impact consumers and what they can do about it now. 

Deb: Who will benefit the most from these changes?

Chris: The changes are designed to protect those who do nothing and don’t shop around for a discount.

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) estimates that around 13 percent of the market are on standing offers and paying hundreds of dollars more a year of electricity than they need to.

The Regulator estimates that this will save 758,000 people in NSW, SEQLD and SA between $118 and $181 a year.

But it’s important to note that the AER says the vast majority of market offers, around 80 to 90%, will still be cheaper than these new default market offers – so you still need to shop around if you want to pay less.

Deb: This was brought about from the government itself right?

Chris: The basic idea of the DMO came from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report into power prices.

Deb: Will the new rules make it harder for customers to get big discounts?

Chris: Offers may look different to how they do now. Power companies won’t be allowed to headline their ads with pay on time discounts anymore. So these big 20, 30 even 40% pay on time discounts could be a thing of the past.

They’ll also have to compare every deal to the new default market offer, and say whether it costs X% more or Y% less. But those percentages will be much smaller than what we’re used to seeing now.

Deb: How much can people save by switching providers?

Chris: It all depends on your usage but these discounts could save you hundreds in some cases as long as you pay on time.

Regulator reports have shown how market offers like these with big discounts can sometimes even be over $1000 cheaper than the worst standing offers if you’re on one of those.

Deb: Lastly, how can people sign up?

Chris: All you have to do is go to 9saver.com.au. Enter a few details. You can switch online on the spot for free, or use the offer to negotiate a better deal with your current provider.