The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is now engaging with electricity on-sellers to ensure that they pass on all carbon tax repeal cost savings to consumers.
While the ACCC is continuing to assess data and other information from electricity retailers to make sure that all of their cost savings from the repeal are passed on, the ACCC is now extending its focus to electricity on-sellers.
Electricity on-sellers are entities that buy electricity from retailers and on-sell it to customers on a site they own or operate. Examples of sites that may operate as on-sellers include caravan parks, shopping centres and residential apartment blocks.
“Thousands of Australian residents and businesses get their electricity from electricity on-sellers,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“Our initial focus was on electricity retailers. Now that these retailers are passing on cost savings to their customers, it is timely to ensure that electricity on-sellers do the same, and pass on those cost savings to their own customers.”
Under the new price exploitation provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, anyone engaged in the supply of electricity is required to pass on cost savings attributable to the carbon tax repeal. This means that electricity on-sellers must pass on to their customers all carbon tax repeal cost savings they receive from their electricity supplier, including any refunds.
The ACCC has contacted large electricity on-sellers to make sure they are aware of their obligations and will be engaging with the industry more broadly including caravan parks, strata managers, and relevant industry associations. It also encourages consumers to ask their electricity on-seller how it is passing on carbon tax repeal savings, and to contact the ACCC if they are not satisfied with the response.
Further guidance for on-sellers and consumers is available on the ACCC’s website.
The ACCC detailed its monitoring of the electricity sector in its 3rd Carbon monitoring report, released in October. Further details will be available in future Carbon monitoring reports. The next report will be provided to the Minister in January 2015.