News

9 April 2020

Energy providers – Covid 19 response

The most important take-away message is this: make contact with your retailer. If you are struggling, make contact, explain your circumstances and make a request, whether it’s a debt waiver, payment extension or change to your payment plan.

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31 March 2020

Minister calls for hardship measures from retailers

The Federal Energy Minister, Angus Taylor, has asked energy companies to apply their hardship provisions to people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The Minister assured the community that energy providers are putting in place plans to ensure that energy provision is maintained as the pandemic unfolds.

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31 March 2020

Telco initiatives – response to Covid 19

Big 3 telecommunications providers have announced responses to the COVID-19 situation. Telstra is providing home broadband customers with unlimited data until 30 April. Post-paid customers can apply for an extra 25GB of data, and some pre-paid customers can apply for an extra 10GB.

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16 December 2019

South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant Schemes

A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) consists of a network of solar+battery systems installed across the electricity system (in homes, for instance), which can be remotely controlled by the VPP operator to provide power from those systems to the grid, either when wholesale prices are high or when the grid frequency needs to be stabilised. The VPP operator has knowledge of and access to these electricity markets that individual households don’t have, and can make money by providing electricity when it’s wanted, just as any other power plant can. The VPP operator typically shares this money with the owners of the solar+battery systems, to compensate the owners for the use of their power and the extra wear and tear on their batteries.

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13 December 2019

Competition in the mobile phone sector

In Australia, there are only three physical mobile phone networks (signalling towers, repeaters etc), owned by Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. However, since the launch of Virgin Mobile in 2000, a growing list of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) has created a much more competitive market, by purchasing access to those networks and passing that on to customers at competitive prices. Many MVNOs offer cheaper deals than the three network owners, but it’s best to look closely at the amount of data offered as this varies widely from 5 GB per month up to about 35 GB per month within the $20-30 per month price range. High data plans may only be of value if you have a need for them; and it is possible to find a modest-sized plan for an even lower price.

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10 December 2019

Observations on the DMO

The Australian Energy Regulator, following a request from the Federal Minister for Energy, implemented a Default Market Offer (DMO) from 1 July 2019. These DMOs have replaced the retailer-determined standing offers previously available. The Default Market Offer regime has been in place for 3 months now, allowing for a few observations:

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