Q. What is the reference price?
A. The reference price is a benchmark that consumers can use to compare energy deals to ensure they are on the best deal.
Q. How does the reference price relate to standing offers?
A. A standing offer can not be priced higher than the Default Market Offer.
Q. When does the reference price come into effect?
A. The reference price comes into effect on 1 July 2019.
Q. What if I am on a market offer?
A. If you are currently on a market offer, the reference price shouldn’t affect your current offer.
Q. Who will take advantage of the reference price?
A. Residential and small business customers in New South Wales, South East Queensland and South Australia who are on flat pricing will take advantage of the reference price.
Q. Is the reference price the same in each state?
A. No, each state has a different reference price for small business customers on flat rates.
State Small Business Flat Rate
New South Wales $6783 – 8754
South East Queensland $6481
South Australia $10016
Source: AER Determination pages 61-62
Q. Why isn’t my state covered by the reference price?
A. If you do not live in New South Wales, South East Queensland or South Australia you may already have regulated energy prices in your state. Alternatively, the Victorian Government is implementing the Victorian Default Offer.
Q. How does the reference price affect my current standing offer?
A. Your current standing offer rates will automatically set to or under the reference price. You should have already received an email or letter from Next Business Energy, or your current energy retailer, if this affects your account.
Q. How do I know if I am on a standing offer?
A. If you haven’t contacted your energy retailer in years, or if you entered into an energy contract for a certain duration and it has expired, it is likely you are on a standing offer. If you are a Next Business Energy customer and would like to check if you are on a standing offer, please call us on 1300 466 398 between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.
Q. What is the purpose of the reference price?
A. The purpose of a reference price is to make it easier for residential and small business consumers on flat pricing to compare energy deals.
Q. What is the difference between the reference price and the cap on standing offers?
A. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has determined a single price which will be used in two different ways. Primarily, the reference price will be used as a baseline to compare energy deals. Secondly, but just as importantly, it acts as a cap on the rates a retailer, including Next Business Energy, can charge on a standing offer.
Q. Can I be worse off changing from a standing offer to a market offer?
A. Market offers usually offer a plan with lower rates than standing offers. They also may contain discounts such as a pay on time discount. It is important to note that if you choose a plan with a pay on time discount, the benefit will only apply if the customer pays their invoice on or before the due date. If the customer fails to do this, they will not benefit from the discount.
Q. Does the reference price affect solar, demand or time-of-use customers?
A. The reference price, or price cap, only applies to residential or small business customers on flat rate tariffs. Saying this, retailers including Next Business Energy, will be required to compare both flat rates and time of use offers to the reference price.