The announcement of regulated prices for the new Default Electricity Offer is great news for older Australians battling rampant electricity increases and a confusing retail market.
National Seniors Australia has welcomed the Australian Energy Regulator’s final determination on Default Market Offer (DMO) prices, which will see a reduction for people on standing offers of:
- Between $129 and $181 for NSW (depending on distribution zone)
- $118 for South-Eastern Queensland, and
- $171 for South Australia.
Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the DMO would benefit people unable to shop around in a confusing retail market with poorly regulated standing offers with inflated prices.
“According to the ABS almost 2.6 million Australians do not use the internet, and many are older people unable to shop around,” he said.
“Under the DMO they will no longer be ripped off. Standing offers should have protected people unable to shop around for a better deal but they haven’t.
“That’s why we have been calling for the reintroduction of a regulated price for electricity. As we get closer to the election we urge ongoing bipartisan support for this initiative,” Mr Henschke said.
While the DMO is good news for seniors National Seniors is also calling on election candidates to commit to reintroducing indexation to the energy supplement as part of its energy affordabilityand election campaigns.
Mr Henschke said that unlike the pension, the Energy Supplement was not increased annually.
“Over time the Energy Supplement will be worthless as a means of assisting pensioners with rising energy prices,” he said.
“Energy costs have jumped 90 per cent over the past decade, hitting pensioners on low incomes hardest.
“Indexation was removed in the 2014-15 Budget following the repeal of the so-called carbon tax.
“If prices go up, the supplement should go up,” he said.