Briefing paper

Tickets on themselves: How energy retailers could use movie tickets and other tricks to rip off consumers under draft electricity rule changes

15 May 2018

In December 2017, Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg submitted a rule change request to the Australian Market Energy Commission (AEMC) that seeks to prevent deceptive marketing of ‘discount’ electricity offers that are actually more expensive than other available contracts.

On 20 March 2018 the AEMC responded to the Government’s Proposal with a draft rule change. The draft rule contains loopholes that make it easy for retailers to trick consumers onto expensive and misleading electricity contracts. This could even be through nonprice incentives that are entirely unrelated to the provision of electricity, such as tickets to movies or sporting events.

It may be the case that the new regulation would have no material impact on retailer practices in the National Electricity Market (NEM) and thus do nothing to improve energy affordability.

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