The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has called for public submissions on the issues paper for its review of competition in NSW retail electricity and natural gas markets.

This is the AEMC’s first such review in New South Wales since the introduction of full retail contestability in the state’s energy market 10 years ago. Submissions are due by 8 February 2013.

Under the Australian Energy Market Agreement, the AEMC is required to assess and publicly report on the effectiveness of retail competition in energy retail markets in each state and territory (except Western Australia and the Northern Territory).

The AEMC will establish the state of competition in NSW and provide advice on ways to promote the growth of effective competition; or to phase out retail price regulation if competition is found to be effective. It will explore:

  • small customers' experiences of energy retail competition including the types of marketing practices used and prices offered
  • retailers’ experiences of full energy retail competition, including any perceived barriers to entry
  • views on time of use tariffs, including their availability, take up and impact on competition
  • views on the best path to removing retail price regulation in NSW's small customer electricity and natural gas retail markets, including views on the appropriateness of gradually rolling back the consumption threshold for access to regulated prices.

A decade on from the introduction of competition for energy retailers in NSW, this review starts at a time of considerable change in both the retail and wholesale energy markets.

The privatisation of previously Government-owned retailers has changed retailer market shares in the state.

Similarly, selling the trading rights to two State Government-owned generators has changed the dynamic of the NSW wholesale market. These changes are set to continue with the announced sale of the NSW Government's generation asset portfolio.

This review also follows a period of price rises which may have had an impact on customers' willingness to engage in electricity and gas retail markets.

The review will be completed and advice provided to energy ministers by 30 September 2013.

For more information see Issues Paper - Review of Competition in the Retail Electricity and Natural Gas Markets in New South Wales or contact:

Australian Energy Market Commission

T +61 2 8296 7800

F +61 2 8296 7899

aemc [at] aemc.gov.au

W www.aemc.gov.au

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