New energy report tracks Victorian retail response to volatile wholesale prices
29 September 2022
The Essential Services Commission is closely monitoring Victoria’s retail energy market following recent volatility in wholesale energy prices.
The state’s energy regulator today released its quarterly Victorian Energy Market Report, which includes arrears and disconnection data; compliance and enforcement activity and retailer entry and exits from the market. This edition also includes analysis on energy retail offers and prices paid by consumers over the past financial year.
Commission chairperson Kate Symons said the report provides useful information about the competitiveness and efficiency of Victorian electricity and gas retail markets during an unprecedented period of wholesale volatility.
“Our work this quarter shows median retail electricity offer prices increased by one to two per cent in the 2021-22 financial year, with a sharper increase of six to eight per cent from January to September 2022 on the back of higher electricity wholesale costs,” Commissioner Symons said.
“Despite those changes, retail prices are still relatively low compared to the past four years.”
In retail gas markets, residential and small business offers increased by 19 and 18 per cent respectively in the past financial year, again following elevated wholesale costs.
“Over recent months, we’ve seen price caps, market interventions and spot market suspensions in the wholesale market. The commission’s focus during this time has been to promote and protect the interests of Victorian consumers,” Commissioner Symons said.
“In particular we are monitoring financial viability of the Victorian energy market, ensuring people stay connected if their retailer goes out of business and enforcing the strong consumer protections that Victorians are entitled to under the law.”
“We are actively checking that retailers are following these important ‘best offer’ rules and we will take action if we find a retailer isn’t doing the right thing,” said Commissioner Symons.
“As always, I remind anyone having difficulty paying their energy bills that you are entitled to assistance.
“Don’t let problems build up, ask your retailer for help early and talk about payment plans and whether concessions, rebates, utility relief grants might be available – there may be a solution you don’t know about.”