CALC call for law changes on energy pricing

The Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) has hit out at the Energy Retail Code which provides a way for providers to increase prices multiple times.

Chairperson of the Essential Services Commission Dr Ron Ben-David has received a letter of complaint from CALC that says electricity prices should be fixed for the entirety of a contract. The letter mentioned that current laws are undermining efforts of bill payers who are bothering to shop around for a better deal.

Gerard Brody of CALC said the rules are scattered and unclear.

He observed: "When consumers sign up to an electricity account, they're locked in and will be charged a fee if they wish to cancel the contract, but the same rules don't apply to the retailers.

"Retailers can increase the cost of your electricity at any point in a contract and there's nothing you can do about it - clearly the balance of power is out of whack."

Mr Brody went on to say that shopping around could ultimately be pointless if the provider then goes and changes the pricing system, which means families who budget for electricity are left with a shock when they finally receive their invoice.

Talk to a comparison and switching service to see if there is a better deal out there for you.

Posted by Charlie Moore