19.3 C
Byron Shire
August 18, 2022

Govt considers underwriting small energy retailers after Enova’s collapse

Latest News

Food, drink and craft brewery ’in principle’ approval for Tweed South Industrial Estate

Industrial estate zoning was under question at Tweed Council's planning meeting on 4 August as councillors endorsed the development application (DA) for an ‘artisan food and drink industry including craft brewery, retail area and restaurant at Industry Drive Tweed Heads South. 

Other News

A long and chequered career in cooking

When she was just 16, Elizabeth Jackson was kicked out of a home economics class – not because she burnt a pot or had a collapsed sponge, but because she made a black wedding cake.

Curved-space robot defies known laws of physics, heralding new locomotive technology possibilities

A robot engineered at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) has done the unthinkable and flouted a steadfast law of motion, suggesting that new laws need to be defined.

Mullum pods

First, Hans Lovejoy’s article ‘emergency wedged’ was educational, factual and provided valuable information to the community. Michele Grant’s letter...

Fairy of the week – 17 August, 2022

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don't be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

A voice for koalas: Vale Olivia Newton-John

The Rainforest Information Centre has expressed its deep condolences to the family and close friends of Olivia Newton-John who was literally the voice of the koala.

Veteran-led flood recovery operation launched

Disaster Relief Australia, a veteran-led organisation, has launched a flood recovery operation in a bit to help Northern Rivers residents recover from catastrophic flooding.

NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy, Matt Kean.
Photo nsw.liberal.org.au

In the wake of the collapse of local green energy retailer, Enova, the NSW government say they are considering underwriting small energy retailers who face unfair market competition from large retailers who also generate electricity.

Last week, the board of Enova Community Energy placed Enova Community Energy and Enova Energy (the retail electricity business that provides electricity) into voluntary administration.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith by the Richmond River in Ballina. Photo David Lowe.

Local MP, Tamara Smith (Greens) asked Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, in Question Time last week what he is doing to prevent Enova and other small green energy retailers from going bust.

He replied that the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, which was a bipartisan effort, will help drive prices down. 

‘What we need to see is small, innovative retailers like Enova Community Energy. They are critically important’.

‘We need them so that we have got a competitive retail market in NSW.

‘The government is disappointed to hear that it has entered into voluntary administration. That is particularly challenging for Enova staff. There is a national scheme in place to make sure that, when energy retailers go into administration, their consumers are protected.

‘This scheme is known as the Retailer of Last Resort scheme, which makes sure that customers always have a retailer and receive supply.

Last Resort scheme

‘To ensure ongoing competition in the market, NSW has joined with other states and territories to ask the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACC) and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to report back to energy ministers in July on recent market dynamics, with a particular focus on bidding behaviour.

‘We need to ensure that all participants in the market are complying with their obligations under energy and competition law.

‘The government looks forward to receiving the results of that urgent body of work’.

Minsiter Kean added that a number of smaller retailers ‘have been impacted by the credit crunch that has been occurring as a result of the huge increase in wholesale electricity prices and the introduction of the price cap’.

Competition reform

‘We need to protect those small retailers’, he told parliament. ‘Otherwise, we are going to undo a decade’s worth of competition reform in the energy sector’.

‘That is not something that anyone wants to see because that means less competition and higher prices for consumers. [Federal Labor] Minister Bowen and I are aligned on this.

‘We want to work through these issues. We are looking at various options, for example, potentially an underwrite of small retailers.

‘That is one of the ideas that I floated with Minister Bowen, and he also has a number of initiatives.

‘We will get together with all the energy Ministers around the country to make sure we protect our small energy retailers so that we can continue to have a competitive market’.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Enova was a beacon of how it COULD be in the future. Remember when every electric bill was stamped w a little red box to inform you your bill was higher due to renewables…when it was really the government’s rush to upgrade poles and wires so they could sell off the networks? AND when we were getting $0.60 feedin tariffs paid by the government…they asked the energy retailers to consider perhaps paying more for this energy they received, (they were paying about 6 cents at the time). They couldn’t be forced to pay more.. I think they all refused.
    Then about 4 years ago, the Essential Energy decided to make all electric poles they owned that were on private land… privately owned by the landholder (aka maintained by the landholder). Imagine my surprise to get a defect notice shortly after demanding I replace a wooden arm on one of the poles providing electricity to my house. Quotes came in at over $3000!
    I don’t know the “real” story on why Enova had to go down…but considering past behaviour of the big energy retailers… I assume this was a heavy lobbying of former government by them to crush competition. Origin has just been given the lovely free gift of over 13,000 customers from Enova. IS this fair? More than legislate to assist the survival of green retailers… the government should resurrect Enova with whatever it takes. Look at the performance for community by Enova. They have won so many awards! Seen the big boys winning any for their performance?
    Oh and if you are one of those people who only chases the best money deal for your electricity (and anything else for that matter) YOU are part of the problem. PHOOEY. Get with the program and use your money to support community!

  2. I am an Enova customer. I have not been informed as to wether my custom has been diverted to another retailer. How does one find out?

  3. So they weren’t taking the solar power generated from their customers and storing it in batteries to give back to them in the evening? Because that’s what their customers told me was suppose to be happening which would make them an energy producer.

    Doesn’t matter, the solution is more government money. Make me pay for your power bill, even though I’m completely off grid and am my own energy producer/provider. Green crap is a scam.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Storylines – The Voice of the voiceless

My grandfather would often tell me a story. A story about a community. This community was self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-determining of their own lives.

Draft COMP caps Public Access at Lismore Council

A Draft Code of Meeting Practice (COMP) and Briefing Policy prepared by the Governance & Customer Service Manager was the subject of discussion at Lismore Council this week.

Olivia Newton-John and FernGully

Olivia Newton-John was active in many environmental issues in the Northern Rivers region. One in particular was the 12-year battle to save ‘Fern Gully’ in Coorabell from being dammed.

Planning Dept investigates Splendour festival site

The company which owns and manages North Byron Parklands is being investigated by the NSW Department of Planning over traffic safety breaches that occurred during last month’s Splendour in the Grass festival.