Wholesale electricity price spikes in Victoria and South Australia trigger regulator report

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) monitors and reports on wholesale electricity markets. As part of this role, we report on events that result in wholesale electricity spot prices exceeding $5000 per megawatt hour (MWh).

Most end-customers are not directly exposed to wholesale electricity prices. Energy retailers are the main purchasers in the wholesale electricity market. Retailers bundle electricity with network services for sale to their residential, commercial and industrial customers. Generators and retailers can manage their exposure to price variations in the wholesale market by entering hedge contracts that lock in firm prices for the electricity they intend to produce or buy.

On Friday 19 January the spot price in Victoria and South Australia exceeded $5000/MWh on five occasions, between 2.30 pm and 6 pm.

Extreme temperatures in both states led to a high demand for electricity.

In Victoria, the price reached $10 152/MWh at 2.30 pm.

In South Australia the prices reached $11 864/MWh at 2.30 pm, $13 408/MWh at 3 pm, $5413/MWh at 5 pm and $5332/MWh at 6 pm.

We expect to publish the report into these high prices within 40 business days, by 20 March 2018, on the AER’s website. You can subscribe to receive notifications of our publications.

In addition to reporting on these high price events, the AER will shortly be publishing reports on the following previous price events in the energy market:

Expected publication dates for recent high price events

Market Event date Region Expected publication date*
Energy 18 January Vic, SA 20 March 2018

* Under the Rules, the AER is required to publish energy market high price event reports within 40 business days of the end of the week in which the high price event occurred.

Sector: 
Segment: 
Issued date: 
22 January 2018
AER reference: 
AC 06/18