Well known energy retailer, AGL Energy has been hit with a fine of $3 million for failing to offset their 2017 emission levels. The Victorian Essential Services Commission (An energy savings certificate (ESC) is a tradeable certificate created under Division 7 of Part 9 of the Electricity Supply Act 1995. Each ESC represents one notional megawatt hour (MWh) of energy. More), announced AGL failed to meet its liability under the state’s energy efficiency regulations.
Every Victorian energy retailer has an obligation to purchase and surrender a set amount of Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) which act as a carbon emissions offset project, if this figure is not met, they are issued with a fine. In this instance, AGL failed to surrender 64,033 Victorian energy efficiency certificates, which incurred $2,991,621 in penalties.
“AGL fully understood its responsibilities but failed to surrender the correct number of certificates – The legislation is very clear about retailers’ obligations and the consequences of failing to meet those obligations” said ESC’s Chairperson Dr Ron Ben-David.
The amount of certificates needed to be purchased by each retailer, is calculated in proportion to the volume of energy they sell to Victorian customers. Ben-David told Fairfax Media “It is extraordinary to think that AGL, the biggest retailer in the state, can’t even tell us how many customers it has” and that it was particularity disappointing “for a business that has been in the scheme for its entire life”.
This administrative blunder was explained by AGL’s head of wholesale markets, Richard Wrightson, as “an oversight” and said the company had apologised.
Unfortunately for AGL, the fine comes only a week after the ESC threatened to revoke AGL’s licence to sell gas and electricity in the state, unless they provided correct customer complaints information by the end of October. The ESC stated it was time for AGL “to get its house in order”. AGL have until the end of the month to get all the details submitted correctly before the begin the process of reviewing the electricity retailer’s licence to operate in Victoria.
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