In his annual CEDA address, Chairman Rod Sims launched the ACCC's 2018 Compliance and Enforcement policy. This year, the ACCC will focus on consumer issues in broadband services and energy, competition in the financial services and commercial construction sectors, systemic consumer guarantee issues, and conduct that may contravene the new misuse of market power and concerted practices provisions.
The ACCC has published a preliminary report into the electricity market highlighting significant concerns about the operation of the National Electricity Market, which is leading to serious problems with affordability for consumers and businesses.
Recent discussions about electricity affordability have centred on electricity generation and the 15‑20% price rises in some states. But this discussion ignores so many other issues. In this address, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims reviews the likely drivers of our current electricity affordability issues, and shows why a focus on generation is too narrow.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today released an issues paper for its inquiry into retail electricity supply and prices in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT. The ACCC is seeking submissions by the end of June from interested parties.
The paper sets out the key issues that the ACCC will focus on during its inquiry, including:
The Federal Court has ordered AGL South Australia Pty Ltd (AGL SA) to pay penalties of $700,000 and to offer refunds totalling approximately $780,000 to 23,000 consumers for making false or misleading representations about the level of discount residential consumers would receive under AGL SA’s energy plans, in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered by consent that Origin Energy Limited and two of its subsidiaries (Origin) pay penalties totalling $325,000 for contravening the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by making false or misleading representations concerning the level of discount that residential consumers in South Australia would receive under a DailySaver energy plan, in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
With energy markets in Australia delivering significant challenges for all involved, Chairman Rod Sims provides an update on the ACCC's work on the carbon tax repeal and discusses merger process issues. He also provides some thoughts on the coming privatisation of the Queensland generation assets, and comments on the rapidly changing east coast gas market.