December 1, 2016 says Big Energy retailers caught gaming South Australian power market a dangerous trend

MELBOURNE, 1 December — Australia says the latest Australian Energy Retailer (AER) report suggesting monopolostic behaviour in South Australia to push up electricity prices and result in mega profits for the energy companies is a dangerous trend and highlights the need to move away from reliance on gas generators.

The latest incidence of incredibly high power spike occurred on August 11, on a day when there was enough capacity that the AER suggested prices shouldn’t have risen above $100/MWh. Instead, the re-bidding practises by the major players – notably Origin Energy and AGL – drove prices up to an alarming $11,469/MWh for nearly two hours.

“This is absolutely unconscionable behaviour by the South Australian gas generators such as Origin and AGL to play the system and drive prices up to reap mega profits at the expense of South Australian consumers,” Campaigner, Josh Creaser said.

“The shocking irony exposed in the report shows is that renewable energy has been blamed by the politicians and the conservative media for the power spikes in South Australia, when in fact it this greedy behaviour by the polluting gas operators that is actually driving many of these price surges.

“This report by the AER further highlights why AGL should not be granted a license to build another gas plant in SA. It would only compound the issue of companies gaming the system and likely lead to further incidences like this one on August 11.

“The SA Government should instead look to invest in concentrated solar thermal plants and battery storage, that is not only good for the climate because it means no more carbon pollution, but it also cuts out these dodgy practises and provides more affordable energy options for consumers.”

Media contact: Cambell Klose 0490 436 948