‘Honeymoon over’ as another small ‘solar-friendly’ retailer succumbs to energy chaos

Australia’s fossil fuel-driven energy market crisis has claimed another casualty, with retailer Elysian Energy entering voluntary administration and its customers redistributed to other suppliers.

Australia’s energy regulator said Thursday evening that Elysian Energy’s trading license was suspended effective September 02, 2022, after the company was placed in external administration.

This, in turn, has once again triggered the retailer of last resort mechanism, which will automatically transfer the failing retailer’s customers – 5,000 in Victoria and another 2,500 in other NMS states – to Origin Energy, EnergyAustralia, ActewAGL Retail and Aurora. Energy.

Customer transfer in Victoria will be handled separately by that state’s Essential Services Commission, while in the other NMS states the role of RoLR will be handled by the AER. Customers are free to change retailers after being reassigned.

Elysian’s main point of difference in Australia’s increasingly less crowded retail energy market was a subscription-service model offering, which charged a flat monthly fee for a capped amount of power usage. energy, then a low rate for anything over that amount.

The company also offered a decent, above-market solar feed-in tariff in most states, and its solar savings package won the Gold Mozo Experts Choice Energy Award in the “solar-friendly electricity” category in 2021.

But, as one customer commented on social media, “the honeymoon is over” for Elysian and a growing number of similar smaller retailers who have found themselves ill-equipped to deal with the sustained spike in wholesale prices of electricity.

“Unfortunately, wholesale conditions are currently very difficult for energy retailers, and we ultimately had to make a difficult decision to reflect this unprecedented increase in our costs,” Elysian posted on Facebook in June.

Elysian’s comment was one of many offered on the social media platform in response to numerous customer complaints that the cost of their monthly electricity bill had more than tripled, in some cases for the same use.

“We are very aware that price increases are never good news, and we look forward to more normal and lower energy prices in the future,” Elysian said.

Elysian’s failure closely follows news last week that retailer focused on solar power plants and virtual batteries Social Energy had entered administration, joining a handful of others before it.

In June, Australia’s first community-owned energy retailer, Byron Bay-based Enova, went into voluntary administration, blaming a “poorly structured” market whose design protects fossil fuel-backed incumbents.

“When this burns out,” said Enova co-founder and former chairwoman Alison Crook at the time, “the government will be left with a market controlled by an oligopoly that is determined to extract every last penny from its assets. gas and coal and controlling renewable energies as they arrive.

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