August 30, 2017

EnergyAustralia, one of the country's largest energy retailers, today welcomed the federal government’s drive to make energy easier to understand but warned that without careful planning and coordination the proposed measures risked adding cost and complexity for customers.

EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said the Turnbull government’s reforms would help bring greater consistency to energy retailing, so families and businesses can have confidence they’re getting a fair deal.

“There’s urgent need to support households and businesses at a time of record electricity prices so the question isn’t whether the industry should implement these measures – it’s how,” Ms Tanna said.

“The proposed initiatives require retailers to provide customers with easy-to-understand communications which help them find deals that cost less and are right for them. We’ll work with the government, regulators and other retailers to make them happen as quickly as possible.

“But we need to do this properly, not in a piecemeal way. A lack of careful planning and thoughtful national energy policy over the past decade has largely led to a doubling of electricity bills and reduced system reliability. We want to avoid making the same mistakes,” Ms Tanna said.

To provide customers with real, lasting relief more work is needed to develop new generation capacity and to reform network costs, which together account for around 80% of the average household electricity bill.

“Making energy retailing simpler is a great step but we can’t stop there. To be effective, any changes must be part of a national approach which targets every link in the energy chain, including generation and the distribution networks,” Ms Tanna said.

“If we’re serious about fixing energy, the industry and all governments must raise their eyes from just the 20% retail component of household bills. It's everyone's responsibility to get this right,” Ms Tanna said.