August 9, 2017

EnergyAustralia, one of the country's largest energy retailers, said it looked forward to working with industry, government and regulators to implement measures to make energy simpler, so customers get a better deal.

Energy companies and the government today committed to making it easier for families and business to find the right energy plan for them and to provide more assistance to vulnerable customers.

EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said customers should not be paying more than they have to for energy, especially with electricity prices at record highs.

"Right now, no one can claim the energy market is acting in the best interests of families and businesses," Ms Tanna said.

"There's good understanding of the problem and agreement that industry and government must work together – the discussion today was about how we do that, not whether we do that.

"Many of the measures put forward to improve transparency are ones EnergyAustralia has in place already or has advocated for, but that doesn't mean we can't do better.

"For example, EnergyAustralia does not transfer customers to other discounts or benefits without informing them first. We've also called for a universal comparator rate so customers can confidently compare products. Making the government's EnergymadeEasy into a better, more popular tool is also a step in the right direction.

"We are also pleased at the prime minister's keen interest in hardship. We recently announced a $10 million expansion to our program so we can help our most vulnerable customers by doing more appliance swaps, payment matching and debt waivers. The additional funding also means we can do research into how we solve long-term, chronic hardship.

"But for any approach to be effective the responsibility for making sure customers get a fair deal on energy can't be left to just seven companies – the whole industry, state and federal governments, regulators and commercial comparator websites must also commit to doing better.

"As we do that, we must not lose sight of agreeing a stable, national energy policy.

"If we're to bring down the cost of wholesale electricity we simply must build more wholesale energy. That's why a stable national approach to energy is so important – it will give industry the confidence to invest in new supply."