ACCC Announces Inquiry into Electricity Supply in the National Electricity Market

Friday 30 November 2018 @ 12.08 p.m. | Legal Research

On 21 November 2018, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that they would be commencing an inquiry into the supply of electricity in the National Electricity Market. A discussion paper has been released for consultation as to how this inquiry will be undertaken.

Background to Inquiry

In July 2018 the ACCC released their final Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry report, which made a number of  recommendations that aimed to encourage increased competition and lower supply costs. The ACCC contended that these changes would reduce the cost of electricity for households and businesses, estimating that households could be saving between 20 to 25 per cent on electricity bills . On 20 August 2018, the ACCC was directed by the then treasurer Scott Morrison MP to investigate methods of monitoring the prices, profits and margins in the supply of electricity in the National Energy Market.  The ACCC has been tasked with monitoring and reporting on the supply of retail and wholesale electricity in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT. 

Discussion Paper

The ACCC has published a discussion paper for the new inquiry on 21 November 2018, which seeks submissions in the following areas:

  • The analytical framework for the ACCC’s inquiry which includes expectations of market outcomes as well as measures used to monitor prices and behaviour;
  • The method of monitoring the impact of policy developments;
  • What processes will be used for the collection of information.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims stated in a media release that:

‘This new long-term role for the ACCC will ensure pressure remains on all players in the energy supply chain to behave in a competitive way and only pass on those costs that are reasonable. It is also important that they pass on any cost savings to consumers.’

The responses to the discussion paper are expected to inform the ACCC’s approach to monitoring methods as well as the functioning of the electricity market. This report is expected to be handed in to the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg by 31 March 2019. Reporting is to continue until 2025 at least every six months.

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.


Related Articles: