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'Diabolical' energy situation closes Enova

·1-min read

Australia's first community-owned electricity retailer has fallen victim to the energy crisis.

Based in Byron Bay, Enova Community Energy and its retail energy arm Enova Energy have been placed into voluntary administration.

"The market is broken and does not support small retailers," Enova chief executive Felicity Stening said on Tuesday.

"The current diabolical state of the energy market, combined with the high wholesale market energy prices and the cap on customer pricing, has made it impossible for Enova Energy and many other small retailers to operate in the market."

She said constant regulatory changes by state and federal governments were adding to market complexity and had caused Enova delays in being able to fund and resource energy innovation.

"We are very supportive of the Labor government's fast action and current review of the energy markets," Ms Stening said.

"However, there needs to be greater emphasis on the plight of retailers."

Starting as a regional network, the award-winning organisation has grown to service 13,200 customers across NSW and southeast Queensland.

Small and medium retailers provide an alternative to the big players to maintain competition and ensure consumers have choice.

Enova said it was unable to secure wholesale energy price-hedging contracts after an agreement with Diamond Energy ended.

Combined with a cap imposed on customer pricing, this has led to the business no longer being financially viable.

Enova chair John Taberner said the energy crisis was a matter of national significance that required the urgent attention of government and regulators.

"The Enova board's decision to enter voluntary administration has not been taken lightly," he said.

Cathro Partners has been appointed to manage the administration process.

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