Electricity providers have stung their customers for $10 billion in supernormal profits, despite crying poor to the regulators and despite siphoning out billions, largely free of tax to foreign billionaires and power companies. Mark Sawyer reports on the latest analysis of Australia’s energy sector.
The AER released some data on network profitability last year which no one seemed to notice which showed that the networks were making profits over the past 8 years that were two-thirds higher than what the regulator had originally deemed necessary to enable financing of reliable network provision. Total excess charges to customers adds up to almost $10 billion between 2014 and 2021 or between $800 to $1200 per customer (depending on state with only ACT residents managing to avoid these huge excess fees).
What’s worse is that there’s no sign of any real improvement in the AER’s ability to address this in recent years and the AER and AEMC don’t seem to be acknowledging any serious problem.
Co-ordinated government action is required to urgently improve the regulations governing monopoly electricity networks, to reduce pressure on consumer’s electricity bills.