On 27 March 2017 the Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, directed the ACCC to hold an inquiry into the supply of retail electricity and the competitiveness of retail electricity prices.
Scope of inquiry
Matters to be considered by the inquiry shall include, but not be restricted to:
- the key cost components of electricity retail pricing and how they have changed over time
- the existence and extent of any barriers to entry, expansion and/or exit in retail electricity markets
- the extent and impact of vertical integration
- the existence of, or potential for, anti-competitive behaviour by market participants and the impact of such behaviour on electricity consumers
- any impediments to consumer choice, including transaction costs, a lack of transparent information, or other factors
- the impact of diverse customer segments, and different levels of consumer behaviour, on electricity retailer behaviour and practices
- identifying any regulatory issues, or market participant behaviour or practices that may not be supporting the development of competitive retail markets
- the profitability of electricity retailers through time and the extent to which profits are, or are expected to be commensurate with risk
- all wholesale market price, cost and conduct issues relevant to the inquiry.
A preliminary report is due to the Treasurer by 27 September 2017 and a final report by 30 June 2018.