‘Gaming’ by generators pushing up power bills: Bernardi

July 02, 2018

The federal government will call on the Australian Energy Market Commission to investigate allegations that electricity generators have been gaming the national electricity market, something Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi belled the cat on months ago.

The Australian reports, a Grattan Institute study says generators bid higher prices when supply is tight, costing consumers $825 million last year.

“I will be writing to the AEMC in light of this report asking them to further investigate allegations of this behaviour, and that they recommend new rule changes as required,” Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said.

He noted that such bidding was unconscionable conduct.

The practice of gaming is where generators use their power in concentrated markets to create artificial scarcity of supply and force prices up and a single outage, plant closure or transmission constraint can lead to a supplier having a high level of transient market power — which can temporarily force prices up, the report said.

In April, Senator Bernardi criticised Minister Frydenberg for predicting that power prices could come down this year telling Paul Murray Live on Sky News that was a a dangerous prediction because the electricity suppliers will simply continue gaming the system to the detriment of consumers.

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