ACOSS response: Australian Energy Regulator electricity default market offer

26 May 2022

The Australian Energy Regulator released its electricity default market offer this morning, with increases up to 18.3%

ACOSS Program Director, Climate and Energy, Kellie Caught said:

“In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, today’s announcement of an increase to the Default Market Offer by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is a blow to people across Australia, most of all those on low-incomes, who can now expect an increase to their electricity bills.

“We look forward to working with the Albanese Government to address cost of living pressures, including rising electricity prices.

“There are a number of steps governments can take to protect low-income households from further price increases and reduce energy bills.”

“As an immediate first step, the federal Government should update its guidelines to the Australian Energy Regulator to set the Direct Market Offer at an efficient price by lowering retail margins, as has been done in Victoria. This would ensure people do not pay more than is required for an essential service.”

“Other priorities include improvements to energy concessions and expanding access to energy efficiency measures and rooftop solar for low-income homeowners. These measures should be part of a plan for a faster and just transition to renewable energy to drive down wholesale prices.

“We also urge the Government to immediately increase income support payments to at least $70 a day, so everyone can cover the basics.