ACCC assesses national energy agreement

For large format retail sector.

The ACCC is proposing to authorise members of the Large Format Retail Association (LFRA), including Bunnings, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Officeworks, to jointly tender and negotiate with electricity suppliers for cheaper energy prices.

The Large Format Retail Association (LFRA) has welcomed the ACCC’s interim authorisation for members to form a Buyers Group and undertake collective bargaining, in response to increasing electricity retail prices.

LFRA CEO, Philippa Kelly said competition and consumer watchdog’s approval will ensure the first nationwide collective bargaining and joint purchasing arrangement for retailers.

“Energy is usually the third largest expense for Australian businesses. Now, the businesses in this submission will get on a more sustainable financial footing as their cost of electricity is reduced,” she said.

“Members of the Buyers Group could potentially pass on the electricity cost reduction in the form of lower prices, invest in improved product offerings, expanding their product range or employ additional customer service staff with the expected savings.”

Kelly insists that having access to competitively priced and reliable electricity supply is critical to each of their ongoing business operations.

“Reduced electricity costs and transaction costs will allow the industry to continue growing, thrive and service the increasing demands for homemaker goods including lighting, hardware, electronics, furniture, sporting goods, pet supplies and outdoor recreational equipment.

“The process will operate as an open tender and we hope to have substantial competition for the business from qualified electricity suppliers.”

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