AER takes action against EnergyAustralia

AER, EnergyAustralia, investment patent infringement

EnergyAustralia has paid penalties of $160,000 following the issue by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) of eight infringement notices for alleged breaches of the record keeping requirements of the National Gas Rules.

The penalties relate to EnergyAustralia’s alleged failure to comply with the record keeping requirements for day-ahead auction participants in the gas market.

The day ahead auctions scheme commenced in March 2019. The scheme provides access to contracted but unused capacity on gas pipelines by way of mandatory auctions and was designed to improve competition in the gas market.

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The AER alleges that EnergyAustralia failed to make contemporaneous records for material renominations relating to the use of gas pipeline transportation services.

AER Chair Clare Savage said that energy companies that do not follow the rules can expect enforcement action from the regulator to protect market integrity.

“Record keeping requirements inform AER monitoring of gas markets, protect against market misconduct and ensure that gas markets are functioning competitively for the long term benefit of consumers,” Ms Savage said.

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“We will continue to monitor compliance with these requirements, and take enforcement action against businesses which do not comply with these crucial rules.”

Under the day ahead auctions scheme, gas shippers must keep records of material renominations that they submit to pipeline operators, and must make these records contemporaneously.  The records must be provided to the AER upon request.

“It’s really important that energy companies keep up to date records of why they need to materially change the amount of gas they had nominated as needing on a given day,” Ms Savage said.

“In the absence of these records, renominations could be misused by market participants to manipulate auction outcomes.”