The Federal Court has ordered four subsidiaries of AGL Energy Limited (AGL) to pay a total of $1.3 million in penalties for failing to submit retail market performance data on time to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).
The AGL subsidiaries admitted that, between 31 October 2017 and 19 September 2018, they contravened the National Energy Retail Law by failing to submit information and data by the relevant due dates for each of the quarters of the 2017/18 reporting year.
AER Chair Clare Savage said the provision of timely and accurate market data was critical to the AER’s economic and market monitoring function.
“Retail market performance data is used to inform all stakeholders, including policy makers, so they can identify emerging issues and trends in the market and ensure consumers are supported where needed,” Ms Savage said.
“This case should send a strong signal to market participants that the AER is prepared to take enforcement action if they do not provide required information and data accurately and on time.
“All retail energy businesses must ensure they have appropriate processes and systems in place to ensure accurate market performance information and data is submitted to the AER on time.”
The information and data initially submitted, and in some cases resubmitted, by the AGL subsidiaries for Quarters 1, 2 and 3 in 2017-18 contained material inaccuracies. Accurate information and data for the four quarters was not finally submitted until 19 September 2018, which was 323 days late in respect of Quarter 1.
The Court also ordered AGL to pay a contribution of $100,000 to the AER’s costs
Note to editors
Energy retailers are required under the National Energy Retail Law to provide information and data to the AER on key areas including customer numbers, disconnections, debt and hardship assistance.
The AER commenced the proceedings in the Federal Court against the four subsidiaries in November 2019.
The Federal Court made orders on 12 November 2020 that AGL Sales Pty Limited, AGL South Australia Pty Limited, AGL Retail Energy Limited, and Powerdirect Pty Ltd each pay a pecuniary penalty of $325,000.
The subsidiaries operate in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.
About the AER
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) works to make all Australian energy consumers better off, now and in the future.
- We regulate electricity networks and covered gas pipelines, in all jurisdictions except Western Australia. We set the amount of revenue that network businesses can recover from customers for using these networks.
- We enforce the laws for the National Electricity Market and spot gas markets in southern and eastern Australia. We monitor and report on the conduct of energy businesses and the effectiveness of competition.
- We protect the interests of household and small business consumers by enforcing the Retail Law. Our retail energy market functions cover New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Queensland.
- We drive effective competition where it is feasible and provide effective regulation where it is not. We equip consumers to participate effectively, including through our Energy Made Easy website, and protect those who are unable to safeguard their own interests. We use our expertise to inform debate about Australia’s energy future.