The ACCC has released its latest Electricity Markets Inquiry report. The report includes an update on electricity price rises, which have been significant and unprecedented in recent weeks.
Wholesale electricity spot prices rose significantly in the first 2 weeks of June. Volume weighted average spot prices ranged from $341/MWh to $590/MWh depending on region, around 5 times higher than in quarter 1 2022.
‘We are working closely with our colleagues at the Australian Energy Regulator to monitor the market and to take action against conduct harming competition or consumers and to preserve the competitiveness of our energy markets,’ ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.
Treasurer’s request to report on current energy market crisis
The Treasurer recently wrote to the ACCC about its role in addressing the energy crisis.
‘In line with the Treasurer’s request, we will also assess and bring to the government’s attention any need for regulatory change to ensure electricity and gas markets function properly for the benefit of all Australian consumers,’ Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.
Ensuring energy companies comply with the law
The ACCC actively monitors retailer offers to supply electricity and can take energy retailers to court if they mislead consumers.
Retailers cannot set the price of their standing offers above the ‘safety net’ Default Market Offer, or (in Victoria) the Victorian Default Offer.
The ACCC also enforces legislation aimed at preventing anti-competitive conduct in the electricity market.
Options for energy consumers
Many Australians are worried about the impact of higher energy bills. In some cases, retailers have even contacted customers advising that their prices will go up and suggesting that they switch to a new provider. See below for online advice and energy provider comparison websites.
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Victorian Energy Compare Victorian Government