Media Contact
Carl Kitchen, 0401 691 342
Aug 06 2020

Deferral decision acknowledgement of emerging retail risks

The Australian Energy Council has backed the decision by the Australian Energy Market Commission to extend network charge deferrals by six months.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said the measure recognises the challenges and risks facing retailers, particularly smaller retailers, as they support more customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Energy retailers are assisting customers experiencing financial difficulties and today’s decision will help them to continue to provide that support.

“Our members have committed to supporting their customers with tailored assistance if they are unable to afford their energy bills.

“For customers, your retailer can provide different kinds of support – from short term payment plans to longer term hardship assistance.  I encourage anyone facing challenges to contact their retailer as soon as they become concerned about their ability to pay their bill.

“That conversation will ensure someone is not disconnected for not being able to afford their energy bills.

“Today’s decision acknowledges the emerging challenge of how to manage the sheer volume of customers who are vulnerable to payment difficulties.

“With retailers carrying all the risks of non-payment in the market, we can expect to see increasing bad debt levels. This will lead to increased financial stress on retailers and a greater risk of retailer failures and potential financial contagion.

“Smaller retailers are vulnerable to potential cashflow problems, so this change offers a temporary buffer from the fallout of the health and economic crisis.

“The decision, however, is not a fix for the challenges facing retailers broadly. As this crisis continues, there will be a need for government, regulators and market participants to consider further measures to help share the risks,” Ms McNamara said.

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 22 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.      

Related News


Five Year Plant Closure Rule Change

The Australian Energy Council (AEC) notes the proposed change to the National Electricity Rules to extend the notice period for generator closures from 3.

Apr 07 2022

Plant Emissions at Five-Year Low: NPI Data Shows

The release of the latest NPI data again reveals a drop in emissions from coal-fired generators. An Australian Energy Council spokesperson said analysis of NPI emissions data for coal-fired power plants shows that over the past five years there has been a fall in NOx, SO 2 , particulate and mercury emissions (see table below and trend graphs ).

Apr 03 2022

International electricity price comparisons

Australian retail household electricity prices in the National Electricity Market are the lowest they have been for eight years and are the 10th lowest of the 38 OECD countries, according to analysis undertaken by the Australian Energy Council.

Feb 03 2022
Do you have a question or comment for AEC?

Send an email with your question or comment, and include your name and a short message and we'll get back to you shortly.

Call Us
+61 (3) 9205 3100