Energy companies fined for breaching rules

Peter Terlato 16 January 2017

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Alleged failures occurred when spot prices skyrocketed.

The Australian Energy Regulator (AEG) has received $60,000 in penalties from two of Australia's leading energy providers after they failed to follow dispatch instructions.

AGL and EnergyAustralia paid $20,000 and $40,000 respectively after being issued infringement notices for breaching the National Electricity Rules (NER).

The AER said EnergyAustralia had neglected guidance from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), instead increasing output from its electricity generating units at Hallett Power Station in South Australia and Yallourn Power Station in Victoria.

The regulator also had reason to believe AGL had breached the NER after failing to ensure its electricity generating unit at Somerton Power Station in Victoria was able to perform at its expected capacity.

Both alleged breaches took place on 13 January 2016, the same day spot prices in South Australia and Victoria exceeded the $5,000/MWh regulatory electricity price threshold.

The penalty payments are not an admission of a breach or an admission of liability.

New research highlights the growing concerns of Aussie businesses with regards to rising energy prices.

Electricity bills across Australia are expected to rise in every state, aside from Queensland and Tasmania, over the next two years, according to the Australian Energy Market Commission's (AEMC) latest report.

From the beginning of January, the federal government began phasing out Australia's solar energy tariff rebates, raising the likelihood of bill shock for hundreds of thousands of homeowners.

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