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Unit dwellers to choose own electricity provider under new law

Unit dwellers to choose own electricity provider under new law

THOUSANDS living in strata units could have their power and internet bills reduced with the state government to ban developers from locking entire blocks into long-term contracts.

Across the state, there are almost 80,000 strata lots occ upied by owners or tenants, many of them on electricity, gas and internet contracts signed up to by the developer.

As The Sunday Telegraph revealed in August, many contracts are no longer competitive, making owners and renters pay too much.

Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean said the proposed Better Business Reforms would allow owners to choose their own providers.

Automatic contract roll-ons would end, while owners’ corporation annual general meetings would be required to raise the issue of contracts as a compulsory standing item.

“People living in strata schemes should be able to choose their own utility providers — it’s common sense,” Mr Kean told The Sunday Telegraph.

“These long-term utility contracts might sound like a good deal at the time but, 20 years down the track, they’re often uncompetitive and overpriced.

“It’s time to flick the switch on these restrictive deals,” he said.

The full article by Linda Silmalis can be read on The Daily Telegraph