The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently released its second statement on carbon price complaints and enquiries since the commencement of the carbon pricing mechanism on 1 July 2012.

Since 1 July 2012, the ACCC has issued around 30 businesses with an educative or warning letter (depending upon the circumstances), and enforcement action has been taken in the following cases:

  • Polaris Solar Pty Ltd and ACT Renewable Energy Pty Ltd: Informal undertakings were accepted from solar panel suppliers, Polaris Solar Pty Ltd and ACT Renewable Energy Pty Ltd, for carbon price claims in advertising leaflets regarding the impact of the carbon price on household electricity prices that the ACCC considered were likely to mislead.
  • Brumby's: Retail Food Group (owner of Brumby's bakery), gave court enforceable undertakings in relation to comments made by Brumby's to its franchisees in an internal newsletter suggesting that franchisees link retail price increases to the carbon price.
  • Equipserve: Equipserve Solutions, a refrigeration contractor, offered a court enforceable undertaking in relation to statements made in an email to its customers which attributed the entire amount of an increase in the price of a refrigerant gas to the carbon price when that was not the case.

Further actions are expected to arise from investigations over the next few months.