Vesey to stay put as AGL profit surges

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 10-Aug-18

AGL Energy has posted a 2017-18 net profit of $1.59bn, compared with $539m previously. The electricity generator and retailer’s underlying profit rose by 28 per cent to $1.02bn. AGL has reported revenue of $12.8bn, a modest increase from the previous fiscal year, while shareholders will receive a partially franked final dividend of $0.63 per share. CEO Andy Vesey has refuted suggestions that he may step down, stressing that he will remain at the helm while AGL implements its three-year strategy.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Keep coal burning for long term

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 17-Jul-18

The Australian Energy Market Operator has urged against the premature closure of coal-fired power stations, saying they should remain operating for as long as possible before being replaced by renewable energy sources. AEMO stated that this will ensure stability in the national energy market, as well as providing energy at low cost. AEMO notes that 30 per cent of the NEM’s current coal resources are due to reach the end of their technical life within the next two decades. The federal government will try to convince the states and territories to adopt its National Energy Guarantee at a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments’ energy council in August.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

ACCC’s electricity reform could crush smaller retailers

Original article by Cole Latimer
The Age – Page: 18 : 13-Jul-18

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s recommendations arising from its review into the retail electricity sector include the adoption of a "basic price offer" and changes to electricity discounting. Both recommendations are expected to impact most on smaller electricity retailers, and could force them to merge with larger rivals. Tony Wood of the Grattan Institute notes that the current level of competition has not necessarily benefited consumers, so they may not be worse off if there are fewer electricity retailers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR, MACQUARIE WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Coal stays in energy fix

Original article by Andrew Tillett, Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Jul-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has made 56 recommendations in the final report of its investigation into retail energy pricing. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated that the Federal Government may support the ACCC’s recommendation that the cost of new dispatchable electricity generation be subsidised by taxpayers. This could potentially include coal-fired power stations. Other recommendations include replacing electricity retailer’s standing offers with default offers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ENERGY SECURITY BOARD, QUEENSLAND MEDIA CLUB, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, VICTORIA. DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT, LAND, WATER AND PLANNING

Power rip-offs: ACCC lines up energy giants

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 11-Jul-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission will release the final report on its investigation into retail energy pricing on 11 July. The ACCC has accused large energy companies of abusing their market power, and it has proposed major changes to the National Electricity Market in order to reduce electricity prices. Amongst other things, the ACCC has recommended banning companies from participating in mergers if they boast a 20 per cent share of the electricity generation market. It has also recommended giving the Australian Energy Regulator more powers to combat market manipulation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, NEW SOUTH WALES. INDEPENDENT PRICING AND REGULATORY TRIBUNAL, QUEENSLAND MEDIA CLUB

ACCC: Click misled consumers

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 10-Jul-18

Electricity and gas retailer Click Energy will dispute allegations of false and misleading conduct. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission will allege in court that Click Energy’s offer of a 7-29 per cent discount for paying electricity bills on time applied only to its market offer rates, rather than its standard offer rates. ACCC chairman Rod Sims says the discounts were much lower than advertised when compared with Click Energy’s standing offer rates.

CORPORATES
CLICK ENERGY PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AMAYSIM AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX AYS, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

PM pushed on power prices

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 9-Jul-18

The Greens will push for a commission of ­inquiry into retail electricity pricing, with energy spokesman Adam Bandt urging Coalition backbenchers to cross the floor and support the proposed bill. A number of Senate crossbenchers have expressed support for an inquiry into retail electricity prices, while several Coalition MPs have advocated holding a royal commission unless electricity retailers take action to reduce their prices. However, Deputy Prime Minister ­Michael McCormack says a royal commission is not on the Coalition’s agenda at present.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Renewables generate 19pc of grid already

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 6-Jul-18

Renewable energy was responsible for just under 19 per cent of National Electricity Market generation in the year to June 2018, according to the Australia Institute. The figure includes rooftop solar generation, or 15.7 per cent if rooftop solar generation is not included. The Australia Institute claims that new solar and wind generation that is being built or committed to under the federal government’s Renewable Energy Target and the Victorian government’s RET would be sufficient for the former to meet its 2030 emissions target without the need for a National Energy Guarantee.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED, REPUTEX AUSTRALIA PACIFIC PTY LTD, GREEN ENERGY MARKETS PTY LTD

AGL’s carbon loading

Original article by Sharri Markson
The Daily Telegraph – Page: 4 : 29-May-18

Data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows that AGL Energy generated 43.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2016-17, which equates to about eight per cent of Australia’s emissions. Rival utility EnergyAustralia is the nation’s second-biggest carbon polluter, with emissions totalling 21.7 million tonnes in 2016-17. AGL is believed to be spending around $A23m a year on advertising to promote its environmental credentials, yet its emissions have increased by five million tonnes under current CEO Andy Vesey.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. CLEAN ENERGY REGULATOR, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

Abbott blasts Turnbull’s anti-coal chiefs

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 22-May-18

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has dismissed calls for the Federal Government to acquire the Liddell power station after AGL Energy formally rejected Alinta Energy’s offer to buy it. Coalition backbenchers Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce said the government should compulsorily acquire Liddell, with the former saying it should then be on-sold to Alinta. Abbott has also accused senior government bureaucrats of having an anti-coal bias. He argues that coal remains the lowest-cost option for baseload power.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, AUSTRALIA. ENERGY SECURITY BOARD, THE CENTRE FOR INDEPENDENT STUDIES LIMITED