Electricity and Gas customers urged to shop around to get the best deal

Electricity and Gas customers urged to shop around to get the best deal

ElectricityRex460Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts today urged electricity and gas customers to shop around if they are not happy with their current deal.

Mr Roberts said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has been working hard to put downward pressure on electricity prices for NSW households and businesses.

“We have put an end to the double digit price rises experienced under Labor,” Mr Roberts said.

“NSW electricity prices have turned the corner and families and small businesses are now seeing some relief with prices for 2013-2014 rising by just 1.7 per cent.

“Our network reforms have identified $4.2 billion which will no longer be passed onto customers.

“IPART has found prices will flatten next year and decrease by 2015.”

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) today released its Electricity and Gas Retailers Performance Report to June 2013.

IPART found disconnections of NSW residential customers for non-payment of electricity bills increased by 7 per cent.

Disconnections of NSW residential gas customers for non-payment bills decreased by 63 per cent.

Mr Roberts urged customers to contact their retailer as soon as possible if they cannot pay their bill.

“Get in contact with your retailer, explain your circumstances and discuss a hardship payment plan,” Mr Roberts said.

“The Liberals & Nationals Government also has a $247 million assistance package to help customers pay their bills.

“More than 940,000 households are eligible to receive a NSW Government rebate, including the Low Income Household Rebate and the Family Energy Rebate.

“The Low Income Household Rebate increased to $225 per year on 1 July 2013 and will rise to $235 by 2014.

“The $125 Family Energy Rebate will rise to $150 by July 2014 and more than 540,000 NSW families are eligible.

“The NSW Government has made this funding available to help families manage their energy bills. I encourage families to check whether they’re eligible and jump online and apply for the 2013/2014 financial year.

“The NSW Government also offers the Medical Energy Rebate which will rise in line with the Low Income Household Rebate. There is also a Life Support Rebate available.

“I encourage families to see whether they’re eligible by visiting- www.energy.nsw.gov.au/customers/rebates or call Service NSW on 13 77 88.”

The report by IPART also found total customer complaints reported by electricity retailers increased by 79 per cent with 49 per cent of all complaints related to bills.

Customer complaints reported by gas retailers increased by 54 per cent with half of those complaints related to billing.

“This is a clear message to retailers that customers are becoming more aware of the increased competition and deals that are available in the marketplace,” Mr Roberts said.

“We now have a competitive electricity marketplace and I’m encouraging consumers to shop around and keep a lookout for a better deal.

“We now need Labor to get out of the way and allow the Federal Government to repeal the carbon tax and further lift its dead weight off NSW families and small businesses.”

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