Lochard Energy fined over alleged day ahead auction breach

AER, class action, Piper Alderman, AGL, iSelect, CER, Q Cells, EnergyAustralia, ACCC, Alinta Energy, Origin Energy

Lochard Energy has paid a $20,000 penalty for allegedly failing to provide key information for the east coast gas Day Ahead Auction.

AER Chair Clare Savage said reporting obligations under the National Gas Rules (NGR) are important to ensure the Day Ahead Auction runs smoothly.

“The Day Ahead Auction was introduced to improve competition by ensuring access to pipeline capacity in the east coast gas market,” Ms Savage said.

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“A key priority for the AER is ensuring energy markets operate effectively and transparently through strengthened gas reporting requirements, which can benefit consumers through lower wholesale gas prices.

“The AER is prepared to take action where energy companies have breached their obligations.”

The AER issued an infringement notice to Lochard Energy alleging it failed to submit auction quantity limits to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for its Iona Compression Facility (ICF) over three days in May 2020 as required by the NGR.

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The Day Ahead Auction is run across multiple parts of the east coast gas grid, providing access to contracted but unused capacity on gas pipelines through mandatory auctions.

Victorian-based Lochard Energy’s alleged conduct resulted in AEMO suspending the ICF from participating in the Day Ahead Auction market for three days.

If three auction facilities are suspended on the same day, the entire east-coast Day Ahead Auction market is cancelled. Lochard Energy’s alleged conduct increased the risk of the Auction being cancelled, and could have undermined the efficient operation of the market.