Two retailers fined $2M for allegedly missing energy efficiency targets

Failing to meet energy efficiency obligations has cost two Victorian retailers almost $2 million in penalties, the state regulator alleges.

Blue NRG and People Energy allegedly ‘failed to surrender enough certificates to offset their liability’ in 2020 under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.

This scheme, which is the largest of its kind in Australia, aims to help customers reduce emissions by giving them access to a range of greener products and services.

The Victorian Energy Upgrades program is funded by power companies that purchase certificates equivalent to the volume of electricity and gas they sell, which is then surrendered back to the regulator.

Essential Services Commission (ESC) chair Kate Symons said the initiative has made a positive environmental impact across the industry, removing millions of inefficient energy products from Victorian homes and businesses.

“This program has saved participating customers hundreds of dollars each year and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 61 million tonnes,” she said.

“However, when a retailer fails to meet its obligations, it jeopardises the program.”

It is alleged that Blue NRG and People Energy failed to submit 31,184 and 4,624 energy efficiency certificates, respectively. This resulted in Blue NRG being fined more than $1.5 million, while People Energy paid a shortfall penalty of around $235,000.

Victorian energy providers are required under state legislation to acquire and surrender efficiency certificates to meet annual emission reduction targets, Commissioner Symons explained.

“The number of certificates is set relative to the amount of energy the retailer sells in the relevant calendar year,” she said.

“All other Victorian retailers met their liability under the program in 2020 with more than six million certificates being surrendered to offset emissions generated by energy sales.”

The program’s latest report claims that almost 200,000 homes can save an average of $229 a year thanks to an efficiency upgrade.

AGL was fined $3 million for missing its emissions targets in 2018.

Compare Energy Providers in Victoria

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. Costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision. The next three tabs feature products exclusively from AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin.

Here are the AGL Energy plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower energy network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Image credit: gopixa/Shutterstock.com

Share this article