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Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

1 July 2020

Ben Fordham

Subject: Electricity bills, Energy Made Easy, Default Market Offer.


BEN FORDHAM: Now, here's something just to keep in mind, have a close eye on your next power bill - I'm sure you probably keep a close eye on it anyway - we're told that prices should be on the way down. This is part of the Big Stick legislation. There has been seven straight months of wholesale price falls under the Big Stick legislation, but anecdotally a lot of people say, look, I haven't noticed the difference on my bill. The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction is Angus Taylor. He's on the line. Angus, good morning.

ANGUS TAYLOR: Thanks for having me, Ben.

BEN FORDHAM: Do you get that as well? When people say to you, look, I know that the wholesale price has come down but I don't see it on my bill?

ANGUS TAYLOR: Well some are, some aren't. Look, this is the beginning of the second year of what we call the Default Market Offer. That's a price cap which we set a year ago. And we've seen businesses in western Sydney, for instance, a cafe which has seen savings of about $5,000 a year or a hairdresser about $3,300. So they're a very significant savings for those businesses when they are on what's called the standing offer. They are on the default price. They hadn't shopped around. But the key here, Ben, the ones who are getting the biggest savings are people shopping around and this is enormously important as we go into the second year of this regime. We've got falling wholesale prices. That means there are often smaller retailers offering sharp prices. They're seeing a reduction in their costs and they can pass that through to customers. We've set a, what's known as a reference price, so it's much easier now to compare. And if you go to the Energy Made Easy website then you can upload your bill, you can input your numbers or you can even actually upload a copy of the bill, and it will come back to you and say here's the best offer for you. It's very easy to use, it has very clear comparisons and that's the best way you're going to get the best possible offer.

BEN FORDHAM: Alright. We can't rely on those offering the discounts to always give us the best deals so you say go to Energy Made Easy. And how long does it take, Minister? When you're on that website, how long does it take? Once you put in your bill and your details, how long does it take to find out the best deal? And are you given the best deal or are you given a range of options and you've then got to sort through them?

ANGUS TAYLOR: Well you've given both and it takes seconds. So we've actually just updated this in the last couple of months. We got the CSIRO, the mathematical gurus in, to get it exactly right. And what it does is it takes your own bill, you can upload your own bill, put it in, within seconds it comes back, it gives you the best offer available and a list of others and it shows you what's up for grabs, the differences and the terms and conditions. It's very, very clear. I did it myself and found savings of about $180 a year. I'm pretty careful with this. I shop around and all of those good things that you're supposed to do, but it still found me another $180. So that's a pretty good outcome. I would say that the numbers right now, the savings that are up for grabs are even higher than they were for a lot of people because a lot of people have been at home, they've been spending more time at home, their electricity bills, their usage has gone up, and so it's even more important than ever to shop around.

BEN FORDHAM: Alright. Well look, I'll encourage people to go and check out the website - Energy Made Easy. We really appreciate you jumping on the line so early.

ANGUS TAYLOR: Good on you. Thanks, Ben.