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CALC report rebukes energy deregulation

A new report commissioned by the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) has found that the Australian energy market has failed bill payers.

Catriona Lowe, the co-chief executive of the CALC, said price rises are hurting low and middle-income earners and now politicians and those in authority are starting to realise that enough is enough.

She commented: "The interests of the powerful energy industry have traditionally held sway, but it is now widely acknowledged that this has come at the expense of getting the best outcomes for consumers.

"We're pleased that these issues have gained the public attention and that policy makers are now refocusing to deliver benefits to energy consumers."

She went on to suggest that the notion of free market competition and deregulation will reduce electricity prices is fanciful.

Prices will drop, Ms Lowe says, through streamlining the price system which causes confusion and enforcing tighter rules on how the energy industry conducts its business.

Ms Lowe highlighted the difference in policy in other markets, such as the UK, where those in charge had realised that letting the market run itself will not have the desired effect of a reduction in electricity prices.

Posted by Charlie Moore