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At first sight, many people reckon this looks crazy. How can a bunch of individuals ever compete in a marketplace owned by big corporates? Well there’s the big 3 and then 29 other private retailers in Victoria, offering 96 different contracts. How confusing is that? AGL reported last year that it costs them $192/year, in marketing hoopla, to counteract “customer churn”, to acquire and retain each customer. Meanwhile, for all kinds of state, mutual and community enterprises, customers are said to be “sticky”, which means they don’t cop the expense of churn, are usually happier with less than big corporate profits and have lower expenses. Mutuals have a long and happy track record in Australia, from health funds, to insurance and credit coops. Why not develop a new Mutual for electricity retailing? When you think about it, your account data lives in computer systems belonging to the Distributor, like SP-Ausnet. So the retailer just needs access to raw data, which is then run through their accounting software, to generate a customer invoice. It was quite a big mob from Northern Rivers at C4CE conference in Canberra last year proposing this, track record of many runs on the board already.