NationalNews

Energy company tells customers to leave

In what might appear an act of corporate suicide, an Australian energy company is urging customers to jump ship before their bills double.

ReAmped Energy CEO Luke Blincoe said his unusual warning to 70,000 customers is just the cold hard reality of a major spike in power prices set to hit from July 1.

Last week the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) raised price caps on the maximum providers can charge households and businesses.

The Australian Energy Retailer has warned wholesale power prices would stay high in NSW and Queensland for at least the next two years.

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"In the current climate we can't offer them the best prices," Blincoe told Today, discussing the impact of the AER decision on his business model.

"We thought we would be upfront and tell our customers to get the best deal they would have to leave us.

"It is gutting for us but it is the right thing to do."

Blincoe denied he was essentially killing off his business, instead saying it would be "shabby" to not be upfront about the likely doubling of bills.

"We are preserving our business by maintaining the trust of our customers in what is an unprecedented period of time," he said.

"If we can't offer the best deal, to not tell our customers would be shabby."

Blincoe said the regulator's decision would likely propel customers back into the arms of Australia's big three, Origin Energy, AGL and EnergyAustralia, "who haven't served Australians particularly well historically".

"They will be the guys that benefit from this," he said.

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Millions of Australian households are set to be hit by soaring electricity costs after the energy industry watchdog increased key prices by hundreds of dollars a year.

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The AER said lifting price caps was necessary as wholesale costs for retailers had risen substantially because of unplanned outages, fuel costs and "peaky" demand.

AER Chair Clare Savage said the decision to raise prices was "difficult" considering millions of Australians are already struggling with a soaring cost of living.

Blincoe said higher prices would be around for at least the rest of the year, but he was "very confident" ReAmped will be back "and strong as ever".

He blamed Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a major factor creating huge uncertainty in the global energy market.

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Are you struggling to pay your power bills? Contact me in confidence: msaunokonoko@nine.com.au

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