Energy businesses paid $4.38m in penalties in six months, AER says

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The Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) mid-year compliance and enforcement update highlights energy businesses paid $4.38 million in penalties between July and December 2020.

Key actions and outcomes delivered in the first half of the financial year include:

  • $3.8 million in civil penalties following successful litigation outcomes
  • $580,000 in penalties paid in response to 29 infringement notices
  • Two court enforceable undertakings secured to correct failings in compliance processes and systems
  • Guidance published on key protections for customer metering and compliance expectations for key obligations under the National Electricity Rules as market participants prepare for the critical summer period.

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Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said that while it is pleasing that energy companies are being kept honest by the AER, some continue to do the wrong thing and the Morrison Government will crack down on bad behaviour in the energy sector.

“Australians can be assured the Morrison Government is putting them first, and ensuring energy companies do too,” Minister Taylor said.

“As an essential service, it is vital that misconduct in the energy sector is held properly to account.

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“This is why the Government has championed the introduction of new, tougher penalties in the national energy laws, implemented from January 29, 2021.

“These new penalties will ensure the Australian Energy Regulator has even better tools to crack down on improper and illegal behaviour.”

The AER continues to act on its annual compliance and enforcement priorities and its enforcement of national energy laws.