July price changes
Retailers can change their prices at any time, but there's always been a major price change for retail electricity in July each year in QLD, NSW, ACT, TAS and SA.
This price change is driven by changes in the network charges levied by distributors and passed through to end consumers in their bills. The new network charges come into effect on 1 July, and so retailers generally change their retail prices at the same time or shortly after, to accommodate those changes.
In 2021, for the first time, the July distributor price change also affects Victorian prices. Victoria previously had its distribution network price change and the resulting retail price changes in January each year.
From 2021 onward, all states will be aligned with a July price change that will affect all plans from all retailers. The changes can be simple pricing updates to existing plans, but retailers often take this as an opportunity to release new plans, or to completely overhaul their suite and plans and prices.
It usually takes at least week for all retailers to release their new plans and prices, and when they do, there's a knock-on effect as many of them adjust their pricing in response to their competitors. So pricing is in flux for the first week in July, and now with the inclusion of Victoria the variation will only be greater.
Bill Hero's approach to this is to pause making switch recommendations until the dust has settled. For 2021 this means we will pause generating new rankings and results until 12 July, by which time we expect that pricing should be relatively stable again.