Regulator to examine NSW generators to ensure they operate by the rules

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New South Wales CBD
People walk through the Central Business District on the first day of Autumn in Sydney March 1, 2004. Reuters/David Gray

The Turnbull government has advised the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to look into the bidding practices of New South Wales (NSW) generators. It reportedly intends to ensure that consumers get a fair deal.

The advice comes following reports that some power generators have been bidding and selling their electricity and adding about $30 to $35 per megawatt hour to spot prices. The government wants to ensure that electricity generators operate by the rules.

A media release published at environment.gov.au notes that the Turnbull government’s request to examine the practices of generators in NSW is an addition of ongoing work. The AER is looking into generator bidding behaviour across the National Electricity Market (NEM) following the closure of the Hazelwood power station earlier this year.

The AER has also been asked to give advice to the COAG Energy Council, as appropriate, regarding factors impacting on the efficient functioning of the market by November. “Whether it’s getting a better deal for consumers with the retailers, securing domestic gas supplies, limiting the power of the companies that own the poles and wires or making sure generators are not abusing their market power, the Turnbull Government is doing all that it can to deliver an affordable and reliable energy system,” the press release reads.

Big businesses are primarily the ones affected by spot prices. But if inappropriate bidding practices continue over an extended period of time, households may also be impacted with higher bills.

In other news, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston has talked about certain shows in Adelaide and several South Australian regional communities. She said that the Royal Adelaide Show showcased the best of SA’s rural communities and agricultural industries. According to her, Aussie farmers are among the most exceptional in the world, putting the best of their work on display at the show.

"And while it's fun to go on the rides and get a few show bags, the Show is also a great opportunity for people living in Adelaide to reconnect with their rural and regional roots, and with the farmers who put food on our tables, and in our shops and restaurants, every single day,” Ruston said. The minister also encouraged SA residents to head for the country and see regional shows.

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