Class action alleges electricity giants fudged supply numbers for profit

18 June 2020, Written by Business News Australia

Class action alleges electricity giants fudged supply numbers for profit

Law firm Piper Alderman has launched a class action on behalf of all Queenslanders against two of the State's leading electricity giants.

The action alleges Stanwell Corporation and CS Energy engaged in "bidding games" designed to artificially create scarcity of supply of electricity and to spike energy prices for their own profit.

Stanwell and CS Energy control around 70 per cent of the electricity dispatched in Queensland.

Allegations of market power abuse by the two giants to manipulate the price of electricity have previously been investigated by the Queensland Productivity Commission, the Australian Energy Market Commission, the Australian Energy Regulator and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in 2017.

The law firm's class action will seek to recover compensation for anyone who purchased electricity in Queensland in the period between August 2014 and December 2019.

"This case is about abuse of market power," says Piper Alderman head of dispute resolution and litigation Greg Whyte.

"Stanwell and CS Energy have used their position to unlawfully manipulate the wholesale cost of electricity and that has driven up the prices paid by all Queensland businesses and customers," says Whyte.

"It's had a devastating effect on the Queensland economy. We are trying to stop that behaviour and recoup the losses that illegal conduct has caused."

The litigation is fully funded with all costs underwritten by LCM, a subsidiary of Litigation Capital Management.

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