03/10/2008 - 14:36

Synergy rejects price gouging claims

03/10/2008 - 14:36

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Energy retailer Synergy has rejected claims by the Food Industry Association that it engaged in price gouging following the gas explosion at Varanus Island in June.

Synergy rejects price gouging claims

Energy retailer Synergy has rejected claims by the Food Industry Association that it engaged in price gouging following the gas explosion at Varanus Island in June.

Yesterday the association told a Senate inquiry into the gas crisis that Synergy reportedly took advantage by locking in new contracts at higher than normal prices.

"This is simply incorrect," Synergy spokesperson Andrew Gaspar said in a statement.

"First and foremost, our gas customers were not impact. We did what we could to assist the customers of other retailers, with both gas and haulage."

He added that in the days following the explosion, the company was approached by a substantial volume of small to medium sized businesses seeking gas supplies, which did not have alternative gas arrangements.

He said Synergy was able to make additional short-term gas available to the market through working with its customers and negotiating with suppliers.

"We were only able to pick up the additional short-term supplies in the market and at higher prices," Mr Gasper said.

He added that customers seeking new longer-term contracts would have noticed higher prices compared to previous contracts where the gas price was substantially lower.

"It would have cost more, whether the explosion occurred or not, because the price of gas is higher today when they were last contracted."

The Senate inquiry continues today.

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