Energy affordability: Covid-19 has given Australia the opportunity to hit reset

By Ceyda Erem ·
small-business-energy

Although many Aussies believe life will never return to the way it once was, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is using it as an opportunity to give the energy market a refresh. 

On Wednesday, ACCC chair Rod Sims said that Australia has hit a “tipping point” for energy affordability. 

Speaking at the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) 2020 National Conference, Sims said there’s “an opportunity to reset affordability and competition in energy markets” for large energy users like businesses. 

“This dreadful pandemic we are all experiencing has caused significant personal hardship to many Australians as well as enormous economic disruption for businesses, small and large,” he said. 

The regulatory body explained that commercial and industry users have had their electricity bills skyrocket by 61% between the 2007/08 and 2018/19 financial year. 

For large energy users, wholesale electricity prices make up to 53% of their annual bill, compared to one-third for residential users. 

So with the good news that wholesale electricity and gas prices are their lowest point in five years, businesses will have the chance to come out on top within the following year. 

In early June, Mozo reported on the new energy reform called the wholesale demand response, which is set to come into effect in October 2021. 

Under the wholesale demand response, larger energy users like businesses choose to reduce their electricity consumption during peak periods and in return, will receive an incentive, such as a credit toward their annual bill. 

According to Sims, this new mechanism will do more than just give Aussies businesses a leg up. The wholesale demand response is also expected to reduce costs and increase competition. 

“The reduction in wholesale prices is positive and, together with large energy users continuing to be active participants in both the energy market and non-energy mechanisms, this is the opportunity to restore Australian businesses’ international competitiveness,” said Sims. 

If your small business is still up and running during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your energy costs. You can check out our small business energy savings tips page for more information.

Or if you’d like to make the switch to a better deal, head on over to our energy comparison tool get started.

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Ceyda Erem
Ceyda Erem
Money writer

Ceyda Erem is Mozo’s authority on Energy, as well as having broader expertise as a personal finance writer. She loves to put her researching and writing talents into stories that help our readers to make more informed financial choices, whether that’s about finding the best energy deal or writing about the latest sneaky bank tricks. Ceyda has a Bachelor of Arts (major in writing) from Macquarie University.