PIAC responded to the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) consultation paper on the review of the Retail Pricing Information Guidelines (the Guidelines).
We outline a number of concerns with the Guidelines in our submission.
We highlight the Guidelines contain a number of amendments that effectively remove the requirement for third party price comparison websites, sales websites or sales agents advertising electricity plans to provide customers with a link to the Basic Plan Information Document (BPID), or a hard copy of the BPIB or Detailed Plan Information Document (DPID) through in-person marketing.
We consider this narrows the application of the Guidelines and may create different outcomes for gas versus electricity customers, and for electricity customers searching for an offer through a third party compared to those dealing with a retailer directly.
To address this, we make a number of recommendations, including to retain clauses 168, 178, 180-181 and 186 of the Guidelines relating to agents and third parties.
We also provide input on comparison rates and reference prices, language requirements and timeframes.