Business

Easy energy switch key to reducing prices

Amaysim has added the energy industry to its telco mix as part of a new strategic business model to cross-sell services.

Amaysim reckons a mobile phone provider could help show the way to cut Australia's soaring power prices.

The boss of the diversified telco, which is transforming into a household utility supplier, says making it easier for consumers to switch providers will bring down costs by stoking competition.

"If you can break down the barriers to switch, then customers will be able to vote with action and service providers will be forced to provide better services for value," chief executive Julian Ogrin told AAP.

"That is what is going to encourage more competition and better prices - and it is certainly going to make the incumbents more honest in their propositions."

Amaysim bought Melbourne-based online retailer Click Energy in April.

Click boasts about 155,000 customer accounts across 136,000 households that use its electricity services in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and SA, as well as gas in Victoria and NSW.

The acquisition was part of a diversification strategy centred around growing mobile customers, providing NBN services, moving into the electricity and gas market, and launching an online device store.

Mr Ogrin said the new energy plan will provide consumers with greater transparency by offering discounts that do not expire and monthly billing to reassure customers that pricing will not change.

"What matters to Australian consumers is clear - they want simplicity, convenience and great value from their energy retailer, and they don't want any surprises," he said.

Research conducted by the telco found that 70 per cent of customers said they would be interested in buying other services from Amaysim.

Consumers want value for money but don't want to be locked into a contract, Mr Ogrin said

"That whole idea of putting the power back with the consumer is what resonated the strongest," he said.

"That is really how we are going to market with it."

Tuesday's Amaysim energy launch comes a day after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission urged households to ask their retailer for a better deal.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims, who remains optimistic about the chances of a decline in electricity prices, blamed higher network prices for the recent climb in costs.

"The costs have been too high, because we've had excessive reliability targets," Mr Sims said.

He added "loyal" customer who don't seek a better deal are the ones suffering.

"Unfortunately, loyalty is not being rewarded by the electricity retailers," he said.

"We have got to work really hard to make sure we do so (reduce prices), to relieve the burden on Australian households and Australian business."

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