Overview

The Essential Services Commission is responsible for setting the Victorian Default Offer prices. These prices are designed to be a simple, trusted and reasonably priced electricity option that safeguards customers that are unwilling or unable to engage in the market. Each year the Victorian Government has required the commission to review the prices it has set to make sure they are based on efficient costs and continue to provide a safeguard to consumers.

The commission has made a draft decision on the Victorian Default Offer that electricity retailers may charge domestic and small business customers from 1 January 2021. The draft decision is that Victorian Default Offer prices would decrease from 2020 prices.

How this affects you

If you are on a standing offer, which means that you haven’t chosen a specific plan to suit your needs, then you are protected by the Victorian Default Offer. If you are unsure if you are on a standing offer, you should check your bill or with your retailer. Switching from a standing offer could save you money on your electricity bill.

What we've done so far

The commission released a consultation paper in June. In July the commission held a public forum to outline the key points of the consultation paper and to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions. The feedback the proposed approach to setting the Victorian Default Offer prices for 2021 set out in the consultation paper has informed our draft decision.

Key facts about our draft decision

  • The draft decision on the 2021 Victorian Default Offer is to use a similar approach and methodology as the 2020 Victorian Default Offer.
  • The draft decision means that on average residential bills (for those on the Victorian Default Offer) would fall by roughly seven per cent and small business bills will fall by roughly nine per cent. This is mainly due to a fall in wholesale electricity purchase costs.
  • The proposed regulatory period for the 2021 Victorian Default Offer is 12 months from 1 January 2021.
  • The draft decision also takes account of potential impacts of the pandemic on retailers and consumers. The commission will continue to monitor the impacts ahead of making the final decision in November 2020.

Have your say

The commission is consulting on its draft decision, ahead of making a final decision in November 2020. An online public forum on the draft decision paper will be held in October (date to be confirmed). We will update this page with more information on the forum, and how to register to attend, closer to the event.

The commission is interested in any feedback stakeholders have on its approach to setting the Victorian Default Offer for the next regulatory period. In particular:

  • how to account for the effect of the pandemic
  • how to account for the uncertainty around network tariffs, and
  • the regulatory period.

You can provide feedback on this page by:

  • our online public forum on 8 October 2020 - register here
  • asking a question of our pricing team in our virtual public forum
  • providing general comments to the draft decision, and
  • uploading a submission document.

Submissions close at 5 pm on 20 October 2020.

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General comments

Collection notice

As part of making a submission, we need you to provide personal information, such as your name, email address, town of residence and postcode. We may use this information to send you updates about this review. We may also collect personal information when you contact us with a query. Aside from any exceptions in relevant privacy legislation, we will not use or disclose the information you provide for any purpose other than to progress and respond to your query. You have the right to access personal information we hold about you. We may ask you to pay a small fee for this. You can also request that we correct your personal information in our records at no charge.

We will publish your submission

Unless you tell us otherwise we will publish your submission the on the Essential Services Commission website. This process may involve publishing your personal information (your name, not your address). We generally do not accept anonymous submissions. If you have concerns about your identity being made public, please consider making your submission confidential rather than submitting it anonymously.

Requesting confidentiality

If you believe your submission contains information that should be confidential or commercially sensitive you must let us know why in writing. If we agree the information is confidential or commercially sensitive you will need to provide us two copies – one complete and one redacted version (preserving page numbers etc by not simply deleting information). If you make your submission public (e.g. by giving it to the media) we will assume confidentiality no longer applies and publish the unredacted version.

Read more information about our submissions policy.

About us

The Essential Services Commission is an independent regulator that promotes the long term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. We regulate Victoria’s energy, water and transport sectors, and administer the local government Fair Go Rates system.

Upload submission

Collection notice

As part of making a submission, we need you to provide personal information, such as your name, email address, town of residence and postcode. We may use this information to send you updates about this review. We may also collect personal information when you contact us with a query. Aside from any exceptions in relevant privacy legislation, we will not use or disclose the information you provide for any purpose other than to progress and respond to your query. You have the right to access personal information we hold about you. We may ask you to pay a small fee for this. You can also request that we correct your personal information in our records at no charge.

We will publish your submission

Unless you tell us otherwise we will publish your submission the on the Essential Services Commission website. This process may involve publishing your personal information (your name, not your address). We generally do not accept anonymous submissions. If you have concerns about your identity being made public, please consider making your submission confidential rather than submitting it anonymously.

Requesting confidentiality

If you believe your submission contains information that should be confidential or commercially sensitive you must let us know why in writing. If we agree the information is confidential or commercially sensitive you will need to provide us two copies – one complete and one redacted version (preserving page numbers etc by not simply deleting information). If you make your submission public (e.g. by giving it to the media) we will assume confidentiality no longer applies and publish the unredacted version.

Read more information about our submissions policy.

About us

The Essential Services Commission is an independent regulator that promotes the long term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. We regulate Victoria’s energy, water and transport sectors, and administer the local government Fair Go Rates system.