On 1 July 2019, a bunch of new reforms rolled out across the energy sector to help make energy pricing more transparent.
Chances are, you’ve come to this page from a letter setting out new prices for your electricity contract. You may have seen a reference price comparison in this letter. Comparing our electricity prices with a ‘reference price’
is one of the main energy reforms.
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.)