Minister for Energy doesn’t understand energy market

In an embarrassing blunder today in Parliament Minister Koutsantonis Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy answered a question about electricity prices that have been paid by South Australian households by referring to contract prices paid by businesses in South Australia.

And to make matters worse, he described actual future electricity contract prices simply as predictions, whereas, they are a record actual future prices that have been contracted.

Hon A. Koutsantonis: It is the AER versus the actual outcomes. The AER weekly report for the first week of November 2015 published what they thought a prediction would be for electricity prices in the first quarter of 2016. They said that, for quarter one of 2016, the average price would be, I am advised, $80 a megawatt hour. AEMO, who are the market energy operators, published the actual results for those months. (Hansard, 19 May 2016)

“Minister Koutsantonis’ comments in Parliament highlight his complete misunderstanding of the electricity market and he needs to get a briefing immediately,” Shadow Minister for Minister Resources and Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“The prices the Minister is referring to are contract electricity prices, paid by businesses in South Australia and they’re higher than anywhere else in the nation.

“If the Minister thinks they are price predictions he should talk to industry and learn that these are the prices they actually pay if they need to secure future electricity supply.

“If Premier Weatherill is serious about job creation, he must replace Minister Koutsantonis with someone who understands electricity prices.”