Australian Energy Council rejects profit margin claims

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The Australian Energy Council has called for the public to look at the facts, after it was claimed that the profit margin of electricity retailers makes up 15-20 per cent of every household bill.
The energy industry said that these claims were not supported by the independent assessment of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The Australian Energy Council’s General Manager, Sarah McNamara, said “Assertions that electricity retailers are making excessive profits at the expense of NSW households is not borne out by the facts.

“The ACCC is conducting a detailed analysis, based on data provided by electricity retailers, as part of its Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry. The Inquiry is considering the drivers of electricity price increases over the past 10 years. A key area of focus for the ACCC Inquiry has been identifying retailers’ profit margins.

The Inquiry’s Preliminary Report, released in October 2017, found that retailer profit margins across the National Electricity Market ranged from 5 to 9 per cent and were 8 per cent in New South Wales, on an EBITDA basis.

“This is the most current data set available. It is incontrovertible. If we are to have a proper debate on electricity prices and the best ways to address them, these facts must be the starting point.

“The ACCC found that the key driver for higher electricity bills over the last 10 years had been previous network spending and more recently higher wholesale prices.

“Re-regulation is not the answer. The Australian Energy Market Commission’s review of competitiveness in the electricity retail sector found that re-regulating energy prices will not address affordability, and could actually make things worse by killing innovation and reducing the benefits of competition,”  Ms McNamara said.

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