This content is under review and will be transferred to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources as a result of the Administrative Arrangements Order made on 5 December 2019 with effect from 1 February 2020.

Energy prices

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The Australian Government understands that power prices are hurting Australian small businesses, preventing them from employing more people, grasping new opportunities and being able to thrive. The Government is committed to lower power prices while keeping the lights on.

Lowering electricity prices

Aware of the financial pressures small businesses face due to rising energy costs, the Government has acted to protect small business on the worst electricity plans by introducing the Default Market Offer.

The Default Market Offer effectively caps electricity prices for customers on standing offer plans – the default plan for customers who have not chosen a particular deal – reducing electricity bills for over 100,000 small businesses. It applies in southeast Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, states that previously operated price-deregulated electricity markets.

From 1 July 2019, the maximum price electricity retailers can charge for their standing offers will now be set by the Australia Energy Regulator and not retailers themselves. This is protecting businesses who find pricing and discounts confusing, or who have not had the time to negotiate a better deal.

While the Government has acted to reduce the price of standing offers, business should be aware the Default Market Offer in most cases is not the cheapest plan available and are encouraged to shop around for a better deal.

This is why the Default Market Offer will also act as a reference price, which will improve transparency in the market by requiring all retailers to advertise their offers in comparison to this benchmark. This enables businesses to easily compare offers to identify the cheapest deal - for example, a plan with a ten per cent discount advertised will genuinely be cheaper than a plan with a five per cent discount.

For Government’s free and independent price comparison website visit the Energy made easy website.

For more information visit the Department of Environment and Energy website.

Business Energy Advice Program

The $11.7 million Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP) offers digital and face-to-face solutions for time-poor businesses who need convenient and personalised advice to reduce their energy bills. The BEAP supports businesses to identify options to save money, including finding the best retail energy offer and identifying opportunities and grants for energy efficiency upgrades.

For more information visit the Department of Environment and Energy website.