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Australia 'Australia's largest energy class action' filed against Queensland power companies accused of driving up prices illegally

08:41  20 january  2021
08:41  20 january  2021 Source:   msn.com

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action ' filed against Queensland power companies accused of driving up prices illegally . 47,000 Queenslanders have signed up to the Piper Alderman class action . The law firm alleges and CS Energy limited, alleging the companies artificially created a lack of supply to drive up electricity

The largest energy class action in Australian history was filed in the Federal Court on Wednesday by firm The Piper Alderman team said the QLD Energy Class Action is “brought on behalf of anyone who paid In the past decade, Piper Alderman said power prices had risen by up to 90 per cent, an

a close up of a light pole: The law firm leading the action is alleging the companies artificially created a lack of supply to drive up electricity prices. (ABC News: Chris Gillette) © Provided by ABC Business The law firm leading the action is alleging the companies artificially created a lack of supply to drive up electricity prices. (ABC News: Chris Gillette)

All Queensland residents who paid for electricity between January 2015 and January this year are being encouraged to register for reimbursement as part of the "largest energy class action in Australian history".

The lawsuit, involving more than 47,000 people, has been filed against two of Queensland's largest electricity generators on behalf of all businesses and residents in the state.

Law firm Piper Alderman is leading the class action against Stanwell Corporation and CS Energy limited, alleging the companies artificially created a lack of supply to drive up electricity prices.

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To join the class action , go here or call Vik Pawar, Esq. toll-free at 888-589-9804 or email info@pawarlawgroup.com for information on the class action . According to the lawsuit, defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: the Company ’ s purported

The firm is encouraging all Queensland residents who paid for electricity between January 2015 and January 2021 to register to be reimbursed.

According to Piper Alderman's website, "unlawful conduct occurred at the generation stage and your retailer simply passed that cost through to you".

"This is why this action is available to all Queensland businesses and residents."

The law firm is alleging the electricity giants control about 70 per cent of the state energy market and that they abused that dominance.

"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 consumers," Piper Alderman litigator Greg Whyte said.

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"We are trying to stop that behaviour and recoup the losses that illegal conduct has caused."

Mr Whyte said the class action was a result of "many years of investigation and hard work".

"The evidence of the price spikes is incontrovertible, the data speaks for itself," he said.

"For average households, we think the loss is around $1000 — for businesses it would be many, many multiples of that."

Energy boss rejects claims

CS Energy CEO Andrew Bills said the law firm's claims were "false".

Mr Bills said the company followed strict industry rules.

"We're one of the most highly regulated and competitive electricity markets in the world with prices set every five minutes, and the AER [Australian Energy Regulator] investigates and publicly reports on the causes of all high price events in the electricity market," Mr Bills said.

He said the prices were justified by investigations.

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"Previous investigations have found that high wholesale prices are due to a wide range of influencing factors from fuel prices and hot weather through to water shortages," he said.

"What's interesting is that Queensland has had the lowest average wholesale price in the national electricity market over the last three years."

'An awful amount of money'

Alexander Ivanov is a treasurer of the body corporate in his Brisbane apartment block and believes power bills are higher than they should be.

"I'm an efficiency nerd when it comes to energy and we had very high electricity bills and despite going to market we saw the bills remaining exceptionally high," Mr Ivanov said.

He estimated the complex had been paying 10 per cent more than they should have.

"When you consider that the quantum of the bills through the period was about $650-700,000 — that's $65-70,000 more than we should have been paying over that time period," he said.

"I had noticed that the charges on one particular round of the tender that we went through were all the same.

"We wondered what the hell was going on in the background."

Mr Ivanov said he signed up almost immediately when he found out about the class action.

"I phoned them up and we talked about it and we certainly fit into it," he said.

"Sometimes I'm stuck for words, even expletives. You just have to say, how the hell is that happening?"

Thousands more sign up

The court action is being funded by LCM, an international litigation finance company that helps finance big cases.

About 40,000 people had initially signed on to the class action, but another 7,000 people have registered since the firm filed the lawsuit this morning.

Registrations to join the class action close at midnight on Wednesday.

The firm said it was the largest energy class action in Australian history.

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