Market participants have been stunned by the huge volatility in prices in NSW, and the actions that big utilities have taken in keeping gas generators idle or running down the output of their coal generators.
One retailer and several market analysts have also blamed a last desperate effort by energy incumbents to profit before the introduction of 5-minute settlements in October, or as some sort of “justification” for the government’s “gas-led recovery” strategy.
The dramatic prices spikes came in the same week that the federal government said it would inject $600 million of taxpayers’ money into Snowy Hydro to enable it to build another peaking gas generator at Kurri Kurri, all in the name of “reliability and keeping prices down”, and even though the new plant will be rarely used.
Enova, a small renewable energy retailer based in NSW, and which recently won Choice magazine’s best electricity provider award for 2020, says it has written to the ACCC asking it to investigate the price spikes, and if necessary to get regulators to intervene.
“In the last two weeks we have seen some very peculiar behaviour in the energy market,” Enova chair Alison Crook wrote in a letter to shareholders.