On 1 July 2019, a bunch of new reforms rolled out across the energy sector to help make energy pricing more transparent.

One of the main reforms involved comparing our electricity prices with a ‘reference price’.

What’s the ‘reference price’ and why are we comparing other prices to it?

There are two different ‘reference prices’ depending on where you live.

  • In Victoria, it’s the Victorian Default Offer (VDO).
  • In New South Wales, South Australia and South East Queensland, it’s the Default Market Offer (DMO).

These references prices help you better compare the overall cost of electricity plans between different retailers. 

In New South Wales, South Australia and South East Queensland, whenever electricity retailers advertise or tell you about a plan, or change the prices you’re paying, they must compare the annual estimated cost of their plan with the annual estimated cost of the DMO and show you the % difference between the two. 

In Victoria, electricity retailers must make a similar comparison (in either $ or % terms) when they advertise plans that include discounts.

It’s different to what you’re used to seeing, so it may look complicated at first, but giving you a standard benchmark can help you compare different offers. (For example, if one offer is 10% less than the reference price and another is 12% less than the reference price, you can accurately gauge which is cheaper.)

Want to know more about these changes?

I’ve heard some stuff about energy reforms. What’s the story?

What’s the Victorian Default Offer?

Can I ask for the Victorian Default Offer if I’m not on a flat-tariff standing-offer?

Why is there now information on my bill about other energy plans?

Why isn’t everyone already on your cheapest plan?

What’s the Default Market Offer?

Will the Default Market Offer change my rates?

What’s a flat tariff?