Introduce a fair price guarantee for electricity and gas
Last years’ independent and bipartisan review of Victoria’s retail energy market proposed a “Basic Service Offer” as its headline reform, designed to rein in runaway retail energy charges. The Basic Service Offer would be a ‘no frills’ product required to be offered by all retailers to all consumers, priced at an amount set by the independent regulator, stripped of unnecessary retail costs and hefty profit margins. This would guarantee access to a fair price for energy, for all Victorian consumers. A well designed Basic Service Offer could save Victorian household hundreds of dollars a year. These savings would benefit everyone, especially those on low incomes. A Basic Service Offer still leaves sufficient room for genuinely innovative retailers to provide alternative offers, while providing a fair price guarantee. Discounts would be clearer and fairer because there will be a standard rate from which the discount applies. At the same time, people who don’t have the time or ability to consider all their options could choose the offer and know that they aren’t being gouged for an essential service. A Basic Service Offer would provide Victorians with a guaranteed “rip-off free” price for the essential services of electricity and gas.