Switching energy providers? It should be easier with new rules

Large family home

Switching energy providers will become quicker and easier with new rules coming into play from October 1. With a significant reduction in wait times for customers switching providers, we may also see better energy deals being offered across the board.

A review into electricity prices was launched by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) back in 2018, with findings indicating that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) should make changes to the customer switching process. 

Those changes will come into effect from October 1, with the AEMO mandating that wait times for customers switching energy plans be reduced to just two business days. This is a significant drop in wait times, considering the previous rule allowed up to 90 days for your existing retailer to conduct a final meter reading before confirming your switch. 

Even those with a smart meter, which sends usage information directly to your provider, would need to wait up to 10 business days for a switch to be finalised. With the new rules, no matter which type of meter your property has, your existing energy provider will be required to confirm your switch within two business days. 

With such a reduction in wait time, customers will be able to readily change energy providers to take advantage of better deals as they become available, rather than having to wait until the end of their next billing period. 

With the opportunity to switch providers so quickly, energy providers will need to ensure they’re providing the best deals available to their customers or risk losing them to a better offer. Previously, energy providers have garnered a reputation for saving their ‘best deals’ for customers indicating their intent to leave at the end of their next billing period. 

This also provides the opportunity for providers to offer their best plans to potential new customers, who can now take advantage of that deal within two business days. The new rules should encourage healthy competition within the energy market, and customers are likely to see the financial benefits. 

Looking for a new energy plan? Head to our energy hub to find and compare providers in your area, or make use of our handy comparison tool below.

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