Wholesale energy prices reach 5-year low

Newly released data in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Quarterly Energy Dynamics Q2 2020 report shows wholesale electricity prices have plunged to lows not seen since 2015.

The AEMO report found that wholesale electricity prices across the National Electricity Market (NEM) fell by between 48% to 68% compared to the second quarter of 2019 – with lower-priced offers, lower gas and coal prices, and new renewable supply driving the reduction.

The Honourable Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said ensuring Australians can access sustainable, reliable and affordable power is a priority.

‘Wholesale prices reaching their lowest levels since 2015 comes at a good time, as many households are concerned about higher energy usage as people are spending more time at home,’ said the Minister.

The government expects these low wholesale prices to be passed on over time, and says consumers can play their part by shopping around the marketplace. Residential and small business energy customers can review the competitiveness of their current energy plans by using the government’s free price comparator website

AEMO also found despite the widespread economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, its effect on Australia's total electricity demand in the second quarter of 2020 was modest, but lower oil and gas prices did contribute to lower wholesale prices across the NEM.

By sector, there were large reductions in commercial demand (around 10% to 20%), large increases in residential demand, with industrial demand mostly flat.

For more information, see the Minister's media release.