Competition heats up in the energy market but fewer Aussies making the switch

By Shubhda Khanna Nag ·

With a surge in competitive energy plans in the market, consumers could make a substantial saving by switching providers, but new research has found the number of people shopping for a better deal has stagnated over the last few years.  

According to the latest annual review released by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), 50% of consumers have not switched their electricity provider or plan in the last five years and are not taking advantage of better deals.  

The number of electricity retailers in NSW has gone up from 13 in 2014, to 22 in 2016, and from 17 to 22 in Victoria over the same period. While most consumers know more competition means they have the option to switch and save, only 30% are actually looking at their options and just 19% switched electricity retailers in 2015.

The main reason people are failing to shop around is increased consumer satisfaction. In fact, the proportion of consumers who said they are satisfied with their electricity retailer has increased to 73% (up from 69% in 2015 and 66% in 2014). Only 7% of the consumers surveyed in 2016 said they were dissatisfied.

AEMC Chairman John Pierce said a new era in energy competition is emerging as the traditional centralised energy supply model is being replaced by new products and services that give consumers greater control over how they manage and use energy.

“Our research shows many consumers find new technologies appealing, but there are significant gaps in consumer access to information about what these technologies could deliver for them.”

“Detailed analysis of how the market can best respond to the needs of different groups of consumers shows that vulnerable consumers would benefit more than any other group from greater awareness about how to find the best energy deal for their circumstances and the support services available,” he said.

When you consider many households across NSW, SA, QLD and ACT were stung by an electricity price rise from July 1 - with major retailers rolling out hikes of around 10-12% - the importance of comparing energy deals on a regular basis becomes even more apparent. Consumers looking to track price changes introduced by their provider can do so using Mozo’s state-wise tables on electricity price updates. And if  you’re looking for more information on the latest energy plans and providers, you can compare the best deals in your area using Mozo’s award winning energy comparison tool.

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