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Don't forget small businesses in retail power talks

10 August, 2017

The recent discussions with energy retailers must not forget small business, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

Chief Executive, James Pearson said:

"Most small businesses buy their energy from retailers, just like households. Many retailers have hit small businesses even harder than households, with price rises up to 20 per cent.

"Transparency in terms of the offers available and what contributes to your bill is as important for small businesses as it is for households.

"For a competitive market to operate, consumers, including small businesses need to be able compare prices in a meaningful way and be able to switch providers easily if they are offered a better deal.

"The information available to small businesses and households needs to be clearer and needs to compare what the real costs will be.

"In states with a deregulated energy market there are a large number of retail providers, but there remains significant market concentration.  Nearly 80 per cent of Victoria's retail electricity market is dominated by just four players. In NSW, just three businesses cover 90 per cent of the market and in South Australia, it is just two businesses with 70 per cent of the market.

"The Australian Chamber's members are concerned that the market is not sufficiently competitive and the full benefits of deregulation have not flowed through to prices.

"Our message to the Prime Minister and the energy retailers is simple – measures to help households with their energy costs need to include small business customers too."

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