Utilities

Solar battery storage outside a brick house. The plastic and metal is charred black and melted in some areas. Solar battery storage outside a brick house. The plastic and metal is charred black and melted in some areas.

All households with a solar storage system need to urgently check if the system has a recalled LG battery installed and should switch off affected batteries immediately, the ACCC has warned.

When these batteries malfunction there is a serious risk of injury or death due to the affected batteries overheating and causing a fire.

Read More LG Solar Batteries Recalled – Consumers Urged to Check and Switch Off Affected Batteries Immediately

A yellow lightbulb with a dollar sign inside. A yellow lightbulb with a dollar sign inside.

The Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) latest State of the energy market report highlights that the energy system in 2023 experienced fewer shocks and better outcomes than in the preceding year, however many of the vulnerabilities observed in 2022 remain. 

The report reveals some improved outcomes in wholesale energy markets with average wholesale electricity prices significantly lower than the record highs seen in 2022. Wholesale gas prices also declined significantly from 2022 but remain high by historical standards.

Read More AER Highlights Better Outcomes but Continue Challenges

Switchboard, open to the switches and with blue and black wires above and below.

From 30 September, energy bills will be easier for consumers to understand as energy retailers comply with the new billing obligations in the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) Better Bills Guideline.

Retailers must now include a ‘better offer’ statement on the front page of their bill. This statement must tell the customer if the retailer can offer a better deal, which could include the retailer’s standing offer, and include details of how to switch plans.

Read More Mandatory Better Bills Guideline to Simplify Energy Bills for Consumers

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Regulated water charges varied substantially between the different states in the Murray-Darling Basin in 2021-22 as wet conditions across the Basin kept water availability high, the ACCC’s annual Water Monitoring Report 2021-22 shows.

The Murray-Darling Basin focused report monitors regulated water charges, compliance with the water rules by infrastructure operators, and ‘transformation’ arrangements that allow irrigators to convert an irrigation right into a standalone water access entitlement, held by the irrigator or traded to another person.

Read More Regulated Water Charges in Murray-Darling Basin Fell in Real Terms 2021-2022

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Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) newly released report, Stepping Up: A Smoother Pathway to Decarbonising Homes (available here), has called on local, state/territory, and federal governments to collectively ‘step up’ and ensure everyone in Australia is supported and enabled to go all-electric. The policy report is based on research by CSIRO and Dynamic Analysis which has increased our understanding on the shared and individual costs of electrification for consumers.

Read More Governments Called to ‘Step Up’ to Ensure a Consumer-Focused Energy Future

sad or distressed woman on floor

“Four years on from the launch of the payment difficulty framework in Victoria, we’re still seeing some really worrying gaps in the assistance energy retailers are providing to people who are struggling with their energy bills,” said Luke Lovell, Acting Director of Policy and Campaigns, Consumer Action. 

Read More More Support Needed to Help Victorian Households Manage Power Bills

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Consumer groups and the financial counselling sector have welcomed the launch of a new customer code for the energy sector.

The Knock to Stay Connected customer code requires network companies to visit people at risk of disconnection and encourages them to outline the support and referral services available if the customer is having payment difficulties, with the aim of keeping them connected.

Read More Knock to Stay Connected: National Customer Code Welcomed by Consumer Groups

The Queensland Consumers Association has made a submission to the Senate Select Committee on the Cost of Living which is inquiring into: the cost of living pressures facing Australians; the Government’s fiscal policy response to the cost of living; ways to ease cost of living pressures through the tax and transfer system;  measures to ease…

Read More Queensland Consumers Association Makes Submission to Senate Cost of Living Inquiry