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Safe energy defaults
 
 
 
 
 
 

Show your support for lower energy prices

 

   

The Minister for Energy has taken a major step to fix electricity prices. Can you call on the government to go even further and put an end to dodgy discounting practices?

The Hon.
Angus
Taylor
Liberal Party

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Reduce our power bills

Imagine being able to read your energy bill with confidence and knowing if you're on a good deal. For most consumers, this isn't a reality – but it could be.

The government has just announced that better, fairer default energy offers will be introduced from July next year. Safe default offers will have a hard-capped price, which will stop big energy companies from charging consumers on standing offers a huge loyalty tax.

The Energy Minister has shown a commitment to lowering energy prices, but there’s more that the Federal Government can do if they’re dedicated to making the cost of energy easier and fairer for everyone.

Let's call on the government to go even further and put an end to sneaky late payment fees. Retailers are disguising massive late payment fees as "discounts" to trick people into thinking they’re getting a good deal. These "discounts" are designed to punish people so they end up paying more than they should.

Together we can use the momentum of this national moment to keep pushing to fix the way big energy retailers do business. If the Energy Minister knows thousands of us support putting a ban on sneaky late payment fees, his office will know they have public support to go even further to make these changes.

FAQs

Energy is an essential service – we need it to stay happy and healthy. The trouble is, big energy companies are deliberately making energy contracts unfair so that people pay more. Retailers are making people pay late fees as high as 58% of their bill, even if they pay late by just one day. We know that’s an unreasonable penalty, and we need it to stop.

What’s more, some retailers are double dipping – many already charge around $10 – $15 in late payment fees if you don’t pay on time. Punishing people with fees that are more than half the cost of their bill is just another way for retailers to squeeze money out of their customers.

Energy bills need to be fair for everyone. Electricity contracts are designed to penalise people when they can’t pay on time. That means if your bill is lost in the post, you forget the due date, or don’t have enough in money in your bank account, you could be hit by a hefty late payment fee.

These fees are simply unreasonable, and they’re hurting households. That’s why we want to ban pay on time discounts.

And it does it all based on a straightforward, standardised measurement of 100g or 100mL so there’s no sneaky fiddling with the numbers – like when food companies use minuscule serving sizes to make their kilojoules or sugar content appear smaller.

No, we’re saying that retailers shouldn’t be allowed to charge unreasonable late payment fees disguised as pay on time “discounts”.

Some retailers are also double dipping – many already charge around $10 – $15 in late payment fees if you don’t pay on time, but then hit you with hundreds of dollars more by forgoing your “discount”.

The cost of late payment fees

If people pay their electricity bill just one day late they could end up paying 58% more on their bill, costing them hundreds of dollars in late fees.

 

Graphic illustration based on figures from an actual electricity bill.

 

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