The Albanese government says new changes will help Australians find cheaper energy deals

Eleanor Campbell NCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: istock

Millions of Australian households could save hundreds of dollars on their power bills under new changes that would make it easier to locate and switch to cheaper energy deals.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen said $1.8m included in last week’s budget will fund a new system to allow customers to enter their details and find a better offer on a provider’s website with ‘one-click’

The government will work with energy regulators and state governments to negotiate regulatory changes needed to develop the plan, which aims to curb the “loyalty tax” households are slugged with when they stick with the same energy retailer.

Camera IconThe federal budget also included a $300 rebate for all electricity bill payers. Martin Ollman/NCA NewsWire. Credit: News Corp Australia

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“We know households are doing it tough and we don’t want them to be paying one cent more than necessary for their electricity bills,” Energy Minister Chris Bowen said.

“It’s a small but important initiative in the budget because it’s going to have a positive impact on bringing down the cost of living for households over the long term.”

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Data released last year by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found about two million households were paying more for electricity than they needed to.

The consumer watchdog said about a quarter of customers were being hit with higher power bills because they hadn’t pursued lower-cost plans with their provider or sought out new customer deals.

AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos - General view editorial generic stock photo of Australian cash money currency. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
Camera IconMany Australians could see a reduction in their energy bill prices when the energy regulator announces its benchmark prices next week. Nicholas Eagar/NCA NewsWire. Credit: NCA NewsWire

Households could save up to $400 a year by changing retailers, according to the ACCC.

The government said it would also invest additional funding to upgrade the Energy Made Easy website, to allow consumers to compare offers across multiple providers.

Households will find out how much they could be charged for electricity over the next financial year on Thursday, when regulators had down their final decision on default offer prices.

According to a draft report released in March, prices for NSW residents could drop by 3 per cent from last year, or up to 6.4 per cent for some Victorian households.

The new prices will come into effect from July.

Originally published as The Albanese government says new changes will help Australians find cheaper energy deals

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