Wholesale energy prices at new five-year low

Australian energy prices have continued to fall, reaching their lowest levels in five years during the second quarter of 2020.

In good news for Australian households and businesses, data from the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Quarterly Energy Dynamics Q2 2020 report shows wholesale electricity prices have plunged to lows not seen since 2015.

The AEMO report found that wholesale electricity prices across the National Electricity Market fell by between 48-68 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2019 – with lower-priced offers, lower gas and coal prices, and new renewable supply driving the reduction.

With wholesale costs making up around a third of residential electricity bills and far more for industry, these price falls are expected to provide relief for Australian families and businesses.

Since the introduction of the Big Stick we have seen 10 straight months of wholesale price reductions on the previous year.

Wholesale gas prices continued to dive, falling to as low as $4.60 per gigajoule due to declining international gas prices and lower electricity prices.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said ensuring Australians can access sustainable, reliable and affordable power is a priority.

“The Government is committed to keeping the lights on and power prices down, particularly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Taylor said.

“Wholesale prices reaching their lowest levels since 2015 comes at a good time, as many households are concerned about higher energy usage as people are spending more time at home.

“Low wholesale prices will also bring welcome relief to big energy using industries and the jobs that rely on them.”

The Government expects these low wholesale prices to be passed on over time, and consumers can play their part by shopping around as there are increasingly attractive offers in the marketplace.

Residential and small business energy customers can review the competitiveness of their current energy plans and find the best possible for their area using the Government’s free price comparator website energymadeeasy.gov.au

AEMO also found despite the widespread economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on Australia’s total electricity demand was relatively modest.

In Q2 2020, COVID-19 saw consumption by large users was significantly down (around 10-20%) and residential usage increased, compared to the same quarter in 2019.

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