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Australian Consumers switching power retailers in record numbers

Australian Consumers switching power retailers in record numbers

Consumers in Australia are switching power retailers in record numbers to cash in on discount deals prompted by the deregulation of the energy market.

The news comes as energy utility AGL announced last month a 200 per cent boost to its net profit to $364.7 million in the first half of this financial year.

The market has been flooded with discounts of up to 16 per cent on electricity bills and savings of more than 10 per cent on gas, cutting many bills by hundreds of dollars a year.

A record 16,700 residential customers signed new contracts in January – a 24 per cent increase on the same month last year, according to the Energy Suppliers Association of Australia.

Association chief executive Matthew Warren said energy companies were “falling over themselves to offer big discounts” since deregulation in December.

“The data shows SA customers are switching retailers in record numbers,” he said.

“SA households understand that more competition directly benefits them … and they are switching retailers to get the best deals.”

Among the discount deals now on offer are:

ORIGIN: up to 16 per cent on electricity and 12 per cent on gas.

SIMPLY Energy: up to 15 per cent on power.

ENERGY Australia: up to 11 per cent discount on electricity and gas.

AGL: up to 10 per cent on gas and electricity.

Welfare Agency Uniting Communities said residents should check all contract details to determine how savings are maximised because discounts are oftenlinked to fixed periods, direct debit payments or on-time payments.

The State Government announced the full deregulation of the energy retailer market in December as part of a deal with retailer AGL to drop its legal challenge to the industry regulator’s decision to cut the cost of regulated electricity contract by 8.1 per cent.

The government introduced full deregulation this month in return for AGL changing the regulated contract into a two year fixed contract and providing a cut of 9.1 per cent.

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