I’ve written to the ACCC expressing my deep concern about skyrocketing electricity and gas prices and the impact this is having on households and industry.
While there are a number of factors driving these price increases, the ACCC plays a critical role in monitoring and reporting on developments in the electricity and gas markets and it will be important for the ACCC to ensure that the factors influencing prices in these markets are made fully transparent.
I have asked the ACCC to advise the Government of any regulatory changes that may be required to ensure these markets are functioning properly.
I also expect that the ACCC will investigate any concerns about anti-competitive or false and misleading conduct in these markets and take appropriate action.
The Government is considering a number of actions in response to the energy crisis we’ve inherited, and this will help ensure any other steps are guided by evidence and expert advice.
I’ve consulted the ACCC and am working closely with Ministers Bowen, King and Husic on all of these issues.
THE HON JIM CHALMERS MP
Monday, 6 June 2022
Ms Gina Cass-Gottlieb
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
GPO Box 3131
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Dear Ms Cass-Gottlieb
I am writing to you today to convey my deep concern about significant increases in wholesale electricity and gas prices and the serious impact this is having on the cost of living for Australian households, as well as on the competitiveness of our domestic industries and the viability of some energy retailers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a vital role to play in addressing these concerns, through its roles in monitoring and reporting on prices in the National Electricity Market, and on prices and the supply of gas to domestic and export markets.
It will be important for the ACCC to ensure that the factors influencing prices in these markets are made fully transparent, and to bring to the Government’s attention any need for regulatory change to ensure electricity and gas markets function properly for the benefit of all Australians.
I would further expect the ACCC, as the independent regulator enforcing Australia’s competition and consumer laws, to investigate any concerns arising about anti-competitive or false and misleading conduct in electricity and gas markets and take appropriate action.
The Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP
Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP
Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen MP
Minister for Resources, the Hon Madeleine King MP
Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ed Husic MP