Wholesale gas and electricity prices fall over 2019

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Two new reports have found that wholesale gas and electricity prices are at the lowest they’ve been since 2017 and have fallen significantly in 2019.

Two reports released this week – the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) Quarterly Energy Dynamics Q3 2019 report and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) Wholesale Markets Quarterly report for Q3 2019 – found gas prices were at their lowest levels since 2017.

Wholesale gas prices in the eastern states fell significantly in Q3 2019, averaging $7.95/GJ over the quarter, down from $9-10/GJ for the last year.

The rapid price drop occurred despite increased demand during the winter months, with more gas being offered at lower prices.

There was improved competition in the gas sector and record gas production with Q3 2019 representing the highest gas production quarter on record.

Wholesale electricity prices have also fallen significantly across the National Electricity Market (NEM) in Q3 with prices in Queensland and South Australia at their lowest since 2016.

With wholesale prices making up around a third of an average retail electricity bill, this is good news for households and small businesses.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said these reports highlight that the Government is encouraging new investment in dispatchable reliable generation, and putting downward pressure on wholesale prices

In August, the Government outlined new measures in an effort to strengthen Australia’s domestic gas supplies, including a review of the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM) and exploring a prospective national gas reservation scheme.

The positive news for wholesale electricity prices in Queensland and South Australia was not repeated in Victoria, where they continue to have higher prices than comparative 2018 levels.

Among the Government’s initiatives to help lower gas and electricity prices are:

  • The $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund
  • Underwriting the New South Wales-Queensland Interconnector
  • Implementing the Retailer Reliability Obligation
  • Building Snowy 2.0
  • Supporting Tasmania’s MarinusLink and Battery of the Nation

The Government is also progressing the Underwriting New Generation Investments program to increase the level of dispatchable generation in the market, and maintain downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.

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