The Australian Energy Regulator has released its sixth annual State of the Energy Market report which gives an overview of the electricity and gas sectors over the last 18 months.

It comes at a time of community and business concern about rising energy prices linked to electricity and gas network costs, which contribute around 45 per cent of retail energy bills.

This edition of State of the Energy Market report explains the factors that have driven up energy prices, and the resultant policy and regulatory responses being implemented. It notes that governments, policy makers and regulators have progressed reforms designed to minimise the impact of future network price determinations on consumers.

The report also covers other developments in the market including;

  • Tasmania and the ACT launching national retail reforms in July 2012 with several jurisdictions announcing plans to follow suit in 2013
  • The AER launching an energy price comparison service (www.energymadeeasy.gov.au) as part of the reforms
  • The introduction of carbon pricing on 1 July 2012 followed by a short period of volatility and the settling of market prices as expected.

There was also growing evidence that electricity demand may remain flat for several years, pushing out investment horizons for generation and networks. In the gas market, international demand is putting upward pressure on prices and raising the possibility of restricted supply in eastern Australia from 2016.

For more information and to access the State of the Energy Market report (2012), go to the Australian Energy Regulator website.

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