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 February

February was a tumultuous month in both the spot and retail contract markets.

In the spot market, every state experienced multiple very high priced days as temperatures were consistently elevated across the eastern and southern states. In Queensland the spot price averaged 24c/kWh for February and was scarcely lower at about 18c/kWh for both South Australia and New South Wales where excessively high demand resulted in load shedding in both of these states during the second week of the month.

Market intelligence indicates that additional running of gas-fired generators is contributing to continued high prices.

In the retail contract market, prices surged across all states as the market reflected on the forthcoming 2018 summer. With the 1,600MW Hazelwood power station scheduled to close by the end of this March, supply for next summer will be lower than this summer and retail prices are reflecting this fear.

Over the month of February the Index tracked as follows:

  • In New South Wales the index closed up 1.90c/kWh at 10.10c/kWh.
  • In Victoria the index closed up 1.80c/kWh at 9.50c/kWh.
  • In Queensland the index closed up 1.40c/kWh at 10.20c/kWh.
  • In South Australia the index closed up 0.70c/kWh at 14.95c/kWh.