21 September 2011 – The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia has condemned a potential plan to re-merge electricity utilities Synergy and Verve, suggested this week by WA Premier, Colin Barnett.

Mr  Barnett said the break-up of Western Power by the previous Labor government had not worked.

Chief executive of SEAA, Professor Ray Wills, said: “Monopoly operations are a barrier to developing a competitive market in WA,”

“‘Energy market reforms leading to the disaggregation of Western Power in 2006 were strongly supported by industry to create a competitive market, and those reforms are not yet complete,” Professor Wills said.

“Keeping Synergy and Verve as separate entities is a key reform that must not be reversed, with further reforms that encourage new business to enter a competitive market to supply Western Australia’s energy needs.”

Professor Wills said the re-merger could re-establish barriers to market entry and be a disincentive for private sector investment in WA’s energy markets.