ACCC reinforces need for national energy policy

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry report highlights widely recognised issues in the National Electricity Market, and reinforces that effective competition and policy certainty are vital to address them.

The ACCC report underlines the complexity of the market and the reality that there is no silver bullet, the energy industry said today.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive Sarah McNamara said, “There is no secret why energy prices are high. The ACCC acknowledges that previous approaches to the design of policy and regulation over a decade have pushed up prices for households and businesses.

“The energy industry acknowledges that consumers find the retail market confusing and that is why we have been working with regulators at both the state and federal level to make energy offers easier to understand,” she said.

“There are changes the energy sector can make to improve customer outcomes.

“The energy industry has also been dealing with more than a decade of energy policy uncertainty that has had an adverse effect on much needed investment in the wholesale market. The National Energy Guarantee can deliver this critical investment in the energy sector.

“We encourage the Government to consult on the detail of the ACCC recommendations to avoid any unintended consequences, especially on those recommendations that involve market interventions. 

“Such proposals must not unintentionally undermine the commercial functioning of the wholesale market, which can put taxpayer funds at risk and deter future private investment.

“The ACCC report indicates there are no simple solutions but that more steps can be taken to improve confidence in the energy market.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.

Media contact:
Carl Kitchen 0401 691 342