PM to eyeball energy bosses over bills

malcolm turnbull aug22017

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg hopes the federal government won't have to threaten legislation to force energy companies to rein in rising power bills.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has summoned seven electricity chiefs and their industry body to a meeting in Canberra on Wednesday.

Mr Frydenberg said the government was looking at regulatory options.

"But in the first instance the prime minister wants to eyeball the retailers and to tell them that we all need to do better to ensure particularly vulnerable households ... get the best possible deals," he told ABC Radio on Friday.

Those invited to the meeting include the heads of Energy Australia, Origin Energy, AGL, Snowy Hydro, Momentum Energy, Alinta Energy, Simply Energy and the Australian Energy Council.

The prime minister has previously met with gas company chiefs, which led to government intervention in a bid to keep a lid on escalating prices.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is due to release its interim report on competition in the electricity sector in September and a final report in June 2018.

Mr Frydenberg said the government couldn't afford to wait that long before acting.

He insists energy bosses must increase the transparency around power bills.

"People may get a discount for one or two years but remain on a contract for five or six years, but they don't know when the discount ends," Mr Frydenberg said.

© AAP 2017 Photo credit: AAP Image/Richard Wainwright

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