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Energy retailers forced to give five days notice before hiking prices

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The Australian Energy Market Commission has imposed a new rule that will force gas and electricity retailers to give customers five days notice if they want to increase their prices.

Currently, energy companies don’t need to notify customers of price changes until their next bill, which can leave consumers paying more for months before they’re made aware of the hike.

The Commission’s new rule, which comes into effect in February next year, will give consumers a warning and allow them some time to shop around.

CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre Gerard Brody tells Chris Kenny the fact retailers don’t have to notify customers of a price hike already is “disgusting”.

“What we see from our energy retailers is a disregard for our customers.

“They’re trying to take advantage of our lack of care, lack of interest in our energy bills to mark up the prices when a contract ends or a benefit period ends and that means they’re able to take advantage of us and charge us more.

“We should welcome this change today but I don’t think it goes nearly far enough.”

Mr Brody says he wants to see “far more interventionist oversight” over energy retailers to make sure they’re charging fair prices.

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