Implementing the Victorian Default Offer

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is seeking stakeholder views on draft Orders to implement the Victorian Default Offer (VDO).

Read the:

These Orders are:

  • a draft Order in Council, regulating tariffs for the sale of electricity to prescribed customers, to be made under section 13 of the Electricity Industry Act 2000 (EIA) (the section 13 Order) at Appendix A; and
  • a draft Ministerial Order, varying the period for retailers to vary their standing offer tariffs, to be made under section 35(3B) of the EIA (the s 35(3B) Order) at Appendix B.

Prior to recommending the making of the section 13 Order, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change (the Minister) is required, under section 13(1C) of the EIA, to consult with the Premier and Treasurer.

The consultation paper outlines DELWP’s proposals for the key aspects of the section 13 Order and provide some questions to guide feedback. We are keen to hear stakeholders’ views on whether our proposals are the best approach to achieve the Government’s objectives. We welcome feedback on other matters not covered by our questions.

We invite stakeholders to provide us with written submissions to this consultation paper by:

5pm, Wednesday 1 May 2019.

Submissions are preferred in electronic format. Written responses can be sent to DELWP via email:

Final Government Response

The final response supports 11 recommendations to encourage energy markets to be simpler and fairer allowing all Victorians access to affordable energy.

Recommendation 1Delivering lower prices
Recommendation 2Abolish the requirement for retailers to offer standing offer contracts
Recommendation 3Empowering consumers
Recommendation 4Ensuring contracts are clear and fair
Recommendation 5Unlocking the benefits of data
Recommendation 6 & 7Supporting vulnerable consumers
Recommendation 8Strong market supervision
Recommendation 9Consumer-focused retail rules
Recommendation 10Energy and water ombudsman Victoria
Recommendation 11Energy market structure

Read the Final Response to the Independent and Bipartisan Review of the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets in Victoria (PDF, 1.7 MB)

Read the Questions and Answers - Final Government Response - Retail Market Review (PDF, 183.2 KB)


Learn more about the independent and bipartisan review process

The interim response announced the immediate steps the Government is taking on key Review recommendations. This includes further analysis of recommendations 1 and 2 on the application and scope of the regulated ‘Basic Service Offer’ and revocation of standing offer contracts, and support of recommendations 3 to 11.

This recognises immediate measures adopted by Victoria’s three largest electricity retailers, AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy, to reduce electricity costs in 2018 for more than 285,000 Victorian residential customers on standing offer contracts.

The Government has also already progressed a number of the review’s 11 recommendations in full or in part. For example, work has begun to promote consumer awareness of the competitive market and the Government’s price comparator website Victorian Energy Compare. The Government has also committed to rolling out the Home Energy Brokerage Service and the Home Energy Assist program, funding more than 3,300 Victorian homes to become more energy efficient.

The Government acknowledges further analysis on the remaining recommendations and their implementation is required. Consultation with stakeholders will help inform the Government’s final response, which is anticipated to be delivered in mid-2018.

DELWP released a Consultation Paper (PDF, 392.2 KB), (DOCX, 145.6 KB) to accompany the interim response. The purpose of the consultation paper was to seek stakeholder feedback on the specific review recommendations relating to:

  • the introduction of a Basic Service Offer (Recommendation 1) and abolition of standing offers (Recommendation 2); and
  • market contract periods, practices and variations (Recommendation 4).

DELWP also welcomed feedback on other review recommendations.

In November 2016, the Victorian Government announced an independent bipartisan review of Victoria's electricity and gas retail markets, to examine the operation of the Victorian electricity and gas retail markets and provide options to improve outcomes for consumers.

The Independent Review panel’s final report (PDF, 2.6 MB) was handed down to the Minister on Sunday 13 August 2017. The findings of the independent panel highlight that Victorian consumers are not gaining the benefits of a competitive retail market. The review recommended a suite of reforms and initiatives, with 29 recommendations in total to place the consumers back on a level playing field.

Review of electricity and gas retail markets in Victoria

The independent review panel consisted of John Thwaites, who served as Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 to 2007, Terry Mulder who served as Minister for Public Transport and Roads from 2010 to 2014, and Patricia Faulkner AO, former Secretary of the Victorian Department of Human Services and Director of Consumer Affairs.

The review panel released a discussion paper on some of the key issues and questions concerning the operation of Victoria's electricity and gas retail markets.

24 formal submissions were received to the Discussion Paper. Below is the complete list of submissions received by the secretariat. Submitters have agreed that they are entitled to deal with the intellectual property rights (including copyright) of all material (including any third parties) in their comments and have obtained the necessary consent(s) from any and all third parties owning the copyright for such dealings.

Page last updated: 15/04/19