In the Australian energy market, the forward price of electricity for medium to large users fluctuates from day-to-day. Energy Action’s Price Index (Business) (EAPI) provides clarity to the market encompassing pricing from energy retailers via the Australian Energy Exchange (AEX).

EAPI represents the average commodity price of retail electricity paid by Australian businesses based on a Standard Retail Contract (commences in 6-months and operates for 2½ years). EAPI is created from the lowest cost offers submitted by retailers via the AEX and reflects the cost of commodity electricity to commercial and industrial customers.

For more information about the Energy Action Price Index, read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Energy Action has redefined the EAPI for South Australia. From 2 February 2016 onwards the Standard Retail Contract for South Australia commences in 2-months and operates for 1 year. This change has been made to better reflect market conditions in South Australia where contract lengths have shortened considerably since late 2015. This change to the EAPI is limited only to the index for South Australia. Standard Retail Contract definition for all other states remains unchanged.

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The Retail Market in March and Early April

Prices posted strong gains in NSW, Victoria and South Australia during the period although appearing to slacken slightly towards the end of the first week in April. In Queensland prices fell materially for the first time in over two years with this possibly being the result of over-exuberance during March. Queensland is also now at a discount to all other states, which is the first time that this has occurred since 2011 when prices across the market were less than half the current levels.

In terms of duration we continue to see contracts commonly pricing to the end of 2020 in Victoria. The first pricing out that far in NSW and Queensland was also seen during the period. For South Australia we saw the first pricing into calendar 2020 but nothing beyond June of that year.

Across the market longer term contracts are pricing at small but consistent discounts to shorter term contracts. In all states contracts for two years’ duration are pricing at a discount of around 1c/kWh to contracts for a single year’s duration. For three year cover, which is only consistently available in Victoria, three year contracts are pricing at a discount of around 2c/kWh to one year contracts. 

Over the month of March into early April the Index tracked as follows:

  • In NSW the index closed up 1.05c/kWh at 11.15c/kWh.
  • In Victoria the index closed up 1.25c/kWh at 10.75c/kWh.
  • In Queensland the index down 0.25c/kWh at 9.95c/kWh.
  • In South Australia the index closed up 1.15c/kWh at 16.10c/kWh.