Minister for Energy and Water Supply
The Honourable Mark McArdle

Mid-August deadline to terminate electricity market contracts without penalty

Queensland now has new laws preventing electricity retailers from charging early termination fees to small customers who want to terminate their market contract because of their electricity charges increasing above the notified price.

Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle said household and small business customers on electricity market contracts who were informed their charges would increase above the notified prices had until 16 August 2012 to terminate their market contract without paying an exit fee.

“I recommend these customers contact their retailer to confirm the terms and conditions of their contract and the options available to them,” Mr McArdle said.

Customers who end a market contract and go back to notified prices on a standard retail contract can move to another retailer whenever they want.

There is no time limit on changing to another retailer for electricity customers on notified prices.

“The new laws provide ongoing protection for small and residential electricity customers and are mandatory for all electricity retailers,” he said.

“It provides greater flexibility and a safeguard for customers to shop around, do their sums and switch to a new market contract retailer, or revert to the standard regulated tariff, if that’s what they want to do.”

Mr McArdle said this landmark legislation delivered on the Newman Government’s promise to protect electricity customers from exorbitant increases in retailer charges.

“A climate of rising electricity prices has reinforced the Newman Government’s steely determination to address cost of living concerns.”

The Electricity (Early Termination) Amendment Bill 2012 was passed by Queensland Parliament last week and received Royal Assent yesterday.

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