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Interview with Leon Byner, 5AA

17 February 2021

Leon Byner

Subject: Electricity prices.


LEON BYNER: Electricity prices are forecast to drop next financial year up to $136 in New South Wales, $117 in South Australia et cetera, et cetera. Now, this has come from the energy regulator. So, how do we know that this is really going to happen? Because as you know, and I've got the Federal Energy Minister on in a moment, who's on the line, and will say hi in a sec. But, when you get promised something and it isn't delivered because it's not on your bill, you think, hang on a minute, what are we being told? Let's talk to Angus Taylor, Federal Energy Minister. Angus, good morning.

ANGUS TAYLOR: G'day Leon. Thanks for having me. 

LEON BYNER: Just explain to the public of South Australia, how the $117 figure for SA in savings was reached.

ANGUS TAYLOR: So this is a determination from the regulator for the default offer. So that's the offer you get if you don't call up - you don't ask for a better offer, you don't negotiate, you get what's called a default offer. They've been in place for three years, the default offers. In South Australia, this year, the default offer will be down $117 from last year for a given customer with given usage. Down $707 since the default offers first went into place three years ago, and significantly more for small businesses - down $300 this year for small businesses and almost $3000 since they went into place. Now, they're the offers you get if you don't ring around, if you don't go and negotiate a better outcome. You can, right now in particular, because of a big reduction in wholesale prices we've seen, there's very good deals around if you ring around. So getting on the phone is always your best bet, or the internet.

LEON BYNER: Got a question - what proportion of people are on the default offer?

ANGUS TAYLOR: Every state and location is different. But typically it's 10, 20, 25 per cent. But the default offer also tends to define what market offers are available as well. And so what it means, is if there's a reduction in default offer, there'll also be opportunities to get reductions in your bill if you ring around. 

LEON BYNER: So people listening today, should expect that their power bills are going to go down?

ANGUS TAYLOR: If they're on the default offer, yes. And if they ring around, there'll be opportunities to bring those bills down, yes. Some customers are happy to sit on their hands and just take whatever price is given to them, that's the default offer - they're coming down. Unambiguous, no question about it. But if you like to ring around, the point I'd make to all your listeners, is there's just a great opportunity right now to do even better.

LEON BYNER:  Alright. Angus Taylor, thank you.

Media contact:

Minister Taylor's office: 02 6277 7120