AGL announces safety net for standing offer customers

energy regulator, dmo, default offer, standing offer, energy retailers

AGL has announced electricity customers will now be protected by a safety net that will automatically discount bills for standing offer customers.

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 announcement comes after pressure from the Morrison Government and its Big Stick policy, aiming to drive down prices for residential electricity customers.

Under the Big Stick policy, energy retailers have been threatened with forced divestment. Energy companies were warned prices on standing offers need to be lowered by January 1.

Related article: Energy companies to face wrath of Morrison’s Big Stick

AGL’s new safety net means more than 150,000 household electricity customers across Australia will receive an average annual saving of between $50 to $180 off the standing offer, assuming average annual usage of 4.4 MWh on a peak-only tariff.

The safety net will also protect small business electricity customers, with 27,000 to receive an average annual saving of between $120 to $340 off the standing offer, assuming average annual usage of 8.8 MWh on a peak only tariff.

The safety net will occur automatically, without requiring customers to take action.

AGL Interim CEO Brett Redman, said the move will protect families and businesses across Australia and help address concerns on energy affordability.

“We understand the importance of energy affordability and the need to ensure customers are rewarded for their loyalty,” Mr Redman said.

Related article: Energy companies to fight Morrison’s big stick

“The safety net will protect AGL electricity customers and give automatic discounts to thousands of customers without them having to pick up the phone.

“At any time, customers can get in touch to seek a better deal and we encourage them to do so. The safety net is in place for customers who do not get in touch.”

The new measure follows efforts by AGL to proactively write to standing offer customers, urging them to seek a better deal. AGL will continue its commitment to provide standing offer customers with an annual plan review.

Earlier this week it was revealed energy retailers were seeking legal advice on whether Mr Morrison’s Big Stick policy could be legally enforced.