Electricity market misconduct

The ACCC will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing Part XICA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) when it comes into effect on 10 June 2020.

About Part XICA

Part XICA applies to all electricity generators and to retailers that generate and supply electricity to small customers. Part XICA establishes three specific prohibitions targeting certain conduct in electricity markets. The prohibitions relate to retail pricing, financial contract market conduct and conduct in electricity spot markets.

Part XICA will be in effect from 10 June 2020 to 1 January 2026.

See: Treasury Laws Amendment (Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct) Bill 2019

Part XICA prohibitions

Part XICA inserts three prohibitions into the Act that relate specifically to the electricity market, which the ACCC is responsible for enforcing. These are:

  • the retail pricing provision, relating to electricity retailers passing on cost reductions
  • the electricity financial contract liquidity provision, relating to the supply of electricity hedging contracts by owners of electricity generators
  • the electricity spot market provisions, relating to the bidding conduct of owners of electricity generators when they are participating in electricity spot markets.

ACCC role

The ACCC is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with Part XICA. The Part XICA prohibitions are nominally tied to our Electricity market monitoring 2018-2025 inquiry by allowing us to respond to misconduct identified during the course of this inquiry.

As part of this role, the ACCC will publish guidelines to inform industry participants of our enforcement approach. We have conducted an initial round of consultation and released the Draft Guidelines for a second round of consultation on 10 March 2020.

See: Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct Bill consultation (initial consultation)

See: Draft Guidelines on Part XICA – Prohibited conduct in the energy market consultation 2020

Next steps

We are currently conducting a second round of consultation and the ACCC is seeking written submissions from interested parties on the Draft Guidelines. Submissions close Friday 3 April 2020, with further information on the consultation process available on the ACCC’s consultation page.

The ACCC intends to release the Final Part XICA Guidelines prior to Part XICA coming into effect on 10 June 2020.

More information

ACCC role in energy