Energy Price Caps is mandatory in Australia under the Government introduced carbon pricing scheme. The cap is an annual percentage rate that applies to your energy suppliers for the entire year. These caps are a direct result of the need to reduce emissions and increase efficiency in the energy industry. Not only do the caps help keep prices down but also make it easier for customers to switch energy suppliers and find cheaper rates from new ones.
Does the price cap help me?
The energy price caps restrict how many suppliers are able to charge you each month, not how much you pay each year. It’s been set up to protect consumers from overcharging their energy provider, ensuring that there is a fair and competitive rate for everyone. In some areas, gas and electricity suppliers are able to charge more than the national average for households, depending on which region you live in. If you live in an area that is known for being very expensive then you could be paying up to twice as much for your gas and electricity as someone else living in a different area.
This law was brought about by the Australian Government, which felt it was necessary to establish a set limit for gas and electricity suppliers. It is a simple law where if you exceed your yearly limit then you will receive an invoice from your energy regulator. This then tells you what you owe, the amount, and how to pay it. They say that up to four percent of your total energy consumption may be eligible for an energy price cap. It does, of course, depend on whether you are serviced by a major energy provider. The suppliers like us, the government, and many other groups in the country, believe that these price caps are fairer than other forms of regulation of energy prices.
One type of regulation that you might have heard about recently is the standard variable tariff. This is when the amount of energy you buy or sell is regulated by a standard variable tariff, rather than a fixed rate per unit. Many consumers think this is a great way to save money on your bills, but the suppliers like us believe differently. Standard variable tariffs are linked to the price of wholesale gas and electricity, which means if you buy more you pay more, and if you buy less you pay less.
How have energy price cap levels changed?
You may have noticed that some energy companies capped their prices at record high points in the past. In order to compensate for the cap, they introduced a default tariff. The default tariffs are sometimes referred to as prepayment meters. The prepayment meter will usually charge a small percentage above wholesale gas and electricity price in order to lock in a price before it rises. This means that all existing customers will have to pay the same prices until they end their contract, even if they decide to stay with their current supplier. The idea is to ensure that you only pay for the gas and electricity you use, so why should you pay more than you need to?
If you are a current gas and electricity customer, you may have noticed that the price of your bills has gone up over the past 6 months or so. This is due to the default tariffs being introduced as well as the increasing amount of demand on the national grid. Energy suppliers are now competing for your business, and many are struggling to keep prices down because of rising demand. If you are happy with your current energy supplier, you may be able to benefit from the changing markets and get some relief from your energy prices.