AER powers beefed up

The South Australian government will introduced two bills to parliament to beef up the national energy regulator.

If passed, they would give the Australian Energy Regulator greater power to monitor and expose anti-competitive behaviour.

South Australian Treasurer and minister responsible for energy Tom Koutsantonis said the laws would make the systems more transparent.

“There’s been a whole series of events from 2007 right up until July this year where we’ve seen excessive market power operate, but of course getting to the facts and the evidence of that is very, very difficult,” he said.

“What we’re going to do through this bill in Parliament today is give the independent regulator the teeth they need to go in and investigate and more importantly make public the findings they have of excessive market power.”

This week the Grattan Institute released a report into South Australia’s July power spike saying there was a ‘confluence of events’ that triggered the wholesale electricity price increase to $8900 per megawatt hour.