The Australian Government directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to undertake the Inquiry into Retail Electricity Pricing to identify the root causes of high electricity prices across the entire electricity supply chain. The final report in July 2018 included 56 recommendations for improving the operation of the National Electricity Market (NEM).
The former COAG Energy Council agreed to progress an initial set of 16 cross-jurisdictional recommendations from the Report, in addition to a program of work to consider the remaining recommendations.
Monitoring of prices, profits and margins
In 2018, the Australian Government directed the ACCC to monitor and report on prices, profits and margins in the supply of electricity in the NEM. The first report was delivered to the government in March 2019, with reporting to continue at least every 6 months until 2025.
The formal government direction enables the ACCC to use its information gathering powers, meaning electricity providers are legally required to provide the ACCC with information relating to the inquiry.
Under the direction, the ACCC may also make recommendations to government on how to improve outcomes for electricity customers.