AGL to give price cut to customers
THOUSANDS of Queenslanders will save at least $50 on their annual electricity bill after AGL bowed to Morrison Government pressure.
While Energy Minister Angus Taylor yesterday welcomed the discount, he told households to try to get an even better deal from AGL and demanded other electricity retailers take a haircut to provide hip-pocket relief.
From January - at a time when Queenslanders and business will ramp up their airconditioners - AGL will "protect" customers by a introducing a new discount.
The discount is for those on standing offers, households or businesses that are not on any deal because they have been too busy or have not negotiated one with their utility.
About 150,000 households across the country will benefit but in Queensland, it will only be open to those in the southeast, where there is competition. The State Government-owned Ergon Energy has the monopoly in the state's regions.
In Queensland, AGL's discount will amount to 5 per cent. Mr Taylor last week threatened the Government would intervene if power companies did not reduce bills. It now puts pressure on other power companies.
In a statement, AGL said: "the initiative ensures all electricity customers who remain on a standing offer for a year automatically get a better deal, bringing them more in line with the majority of AGL customers who are already on discounted market offers.
"The new safety net means more than 150,000 household electricity customers across Australia will receive an average annual saving of between $50-$180 off the standing offer.
"The safety net will also protect small business electricity customers, with 27,000 to receive an average annual saving of between $120-$340 off the standing offer.
"Importantly, the safety net will occur automatically."
Mr Taylor said it was good news for families and businesses. "Rising power prices are impacting household budgets and stopping small businesses from growing and employing more staff,'' he said.
"I see this first step as an excellent measure to give standing offer customers a better deal for an essential service.
"Current standing offer prices are a loyalty tax on those who have stayed with their energy company or don't have time to shop around for a better deal.
"I encourage these standing offer customers to contact AGL and seek an even better deal … (and) I commend AGL for being the first to respond.