The new chief of the Australian Energy Market Operator, Audrey Zibelman, has said energy retailers will face more regulation if they can not demonstrate how they will reduce prices.
Speaking in Brisbane as retailers and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had a summit in Canberra this week, Ms Zibelman said the retailers needed to emerge with a specific plan, in particular for low income households.
“I would expect, as we saw with the meeting with the gas suppliers, a recognition that we need to move forward and the seriousness of the concerns,” Zibelman told a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia event in Brisbane.
“I’m going to assume all of these companies are in the business to serve customers and provide an outcome that’s good for consumers and recognise they have to step up and make changes, or the government has no choice but to step in.”
Among the energy industry, Snowy Hydro and retailer Momentum Energy have claimed the problem lies with the big three of AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia.
Snowy Hydro chief Paul Broad also said he was not working with the Australian Energy Council on a common approach, and said he didn’t want to be “muzzled” by AEC chief Matthew Warren.
There was little outcome to the Canberra meeting, other than a “please explain” request from the Government to the industry.