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Wholesale electricity prices at nine-year low

17 May 2021

Australians are continuing to access low-cost energy, save money and get ahead, with yet another report confirming electricity prices keep falling.

The Australian Energy Regulator's Wholesale Markets Quarterly Q1 2021 found average electricity prices across the National Electricity Market (NEM) are at their lowest first quarter levels since 2012.

This confirms findings in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s April report that wholesale prices had plummeted to levels not seen in nine years

This is good news, particularly for large business customers, who generally experience higher prices in the first quarter when there is greater demand on the grid over summer.

Prices in all regions were lower than expected from January to March, ranging from $27/MWh in Victoria to up to $53/MWh in South Australia. This marks the first time Victoria had the lowest average quarterly price in the NEM since the Hazelwood power station closed in 2017.

With wholesale costs making up around a third of residential electricity bills and far more for industry, the Government expects these price falls be passed on to Australian families and businesses.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said low energy prices will help secure Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, putting more money back in the pockets of households and businesses.

“When energy prices drop, Australians have more opportunities to grow, prosper and get ahead,” Minister Taylor said.

“That’s what our government wants – Australians worrying less about their energy bills. Cheap energy will help make that happen.

“Household electricity bills have been falling for over two years, with ABS CPI data showing household costs are currently 11.2 per cent lower than they were this time last year.

“Since the introduction of the Big Stick legislation to March this year, there have been 19 straight months of wholesale price reductions on the previous year. 

“We will continue to take action to ensure energy bills stay low and Australians have reliable and secure power.”

Consumers can ensure they are getting the best deal by shopping around and accessing the most attractive offer for them.

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

Media contact:

Minister Taylor's office: 02 6277 7120