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Will the government’s new policy bring power bills down?

The Federal Energy Minister is promising households will be better off, thanks to new a power policy.

From July 1, the Federal Government will take power away from the states to regulate the energy industry, and do away with standing offers, introducing a default price instead – a policy recommended by the ACCC.

The Government says around half a million customers are expected to start saving money immediately, with households expected to save up to $218 a year. But some, including the Australian Energy Council, say the vast majority of households won’t benefit.

St Vincent De Paul Society’s policy officer, Gavin Dufty, tells John and Erin he’s seen too many people get dudded by power companies, as a result of standing offers, and not enough knowledge about the importance of shopping around.

“People don’t know relatively if their price is a good price…this [default] price will give a little bit of optics to people.”

But, he warns too much government regulation of the energy market will cause more harm than good.

“If they regulate it too hard, you might find that people who do shop around…people who’ve got a good deal no won’t get as good a deal.”

“What they found in the UK is that the big companies end up winning over time…it’s a fine line to tread,”

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