ACCC calls for new powers to fix electricity ‘market manipulation’

July 11, 2018

Consumers could save hundreds of dollars a year on their power bills if legal changes boosted competition among electricity wholesalers and retailers, the competition watchdog has said.

This is something Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi called out in parliament last year when he said electricity generators were “gaming the system”.

The Guardian reports, an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's report released today calls for new powers for the Australian Energy Regulator to target “market manipulation” and a reset of the national energy market to reduce “unnecessary costs” such as network charges.

The report also lends support to the Coalition’s proposed national energy guarantee before a crucial meeting in early August between state and territory ministers to debate the design of the Neg, as the government stares down an internal revolt on emissions reduction.

But the ACCC report also adds to internal debate in the Coalition, suggesting the government should underwrite dispatchable power amid a push from some Nationals and Queensland LNP MPs for coal-fired power.

The ACCC report criticises the current state of the electricity market as “unacceptable and unsustainable”.

The Conservative Party has long advocated a competitive tender approach that will fix the problems in our energy market whilst also saving taxpayers money.

That would involve the Federal Government putting out to tender the $450 million worth of electricity is consumes each year and guaranteeing the successful tenderer contract certainty in order to be provided with the cheapest baseload power possible over a fixed ten or 15 year period.

Senator Bernardi has told Ashleigh Gillon on Sky News the Turnbull government is trapped by an ideological agenda.

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