Power companies pledge to give more info

August 09, 2017

PM Malcolm Turnbull will meet electricity companies over concerns about Australians' power bills.

Electricity company chiefs are being hauled into the prime minister's office to outline how they can help lower the power bills of Australians.

The Turnbull government says households are paying far higher electricity prices than needed because they're not getting the best deals possible.

It blames a lack of transparency by electricity retailers and the difficulty in switching providers.

Households might get a decent offer when they sign up to a particular energy but when it expires, typically after a year or two, most don't realise they can ask for a new offer and automatically go onto a plan with no discounts.

"Australia is blessed with abundant energy so it is simply not good enough that some families and businesses cannot always afford to turn on their lights, heating an equipment," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote in letters to the major retailers requesting they attend a meeting on Wednesday.

Energy Australia, Momentum Energy, Simply Energy, Alinta Energy, Origin Energy, AGL and Snowy Hydro are expected to front up, together with peak body the Australian Energy Council.

Ahead of the gathering, technology company Wattwatchers raised one possible solution - offering 50 of its real-time energy trackers to each retailer to help customers save money.

The devices help households monitor their energy usage and give advice, such as the best time to use power-hungry appliances and whether installing solar panels could help them.

Mr Turnbull told coalition MPs on Tuesday that energy policy would be one of the government's key focuses for the rest of the year.

During his recent week in Western Australia, people talked about the "red hot issue" of energy affordability and security more than anything else.

The government is also expected to move this week to crack down on what it sees as electricity companies gaming the system, through court appeals to independent rulings on how much they can increase bills.

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