ACCC probe on “gentailers”
Greens MP Christine Milne’s claim that major electricity retailers are frustrating renewable energy developments will be investigated by competition watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that ACCC chief Rod Sims has written to Senator Milne confirming it will look at her claims that AGL, Origin and TRUenergy were using their market power as both generators and retailers and refusing to enter into power purchase agreements with renewable projects.
Senator Milne wrote to the ACCC last month saying she had been contacted by renewable energy companies concerned at the power purchase situation.
“Just like the Coles and Woolworths duopoly, I am very concerned that big power companies can potentially abuse their power to not only block the roll out of renewable energy and energy efficiency, but also drive up power prices to increase their own profit margins,” Senator Milne wrote.
In February, Pacific Hydro applied for an energy retailer licence as a way of helping develop its Solar Dawn project at Moree in NSW, which it said had been hampered by not having a power purchase agreement.
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