Petrol retailer Ampol to enter Australian energy market

Gas pump

Petrol refiner and retailer Ampol will enter the Australian energy market, eager to tap into its existing customer base of 3 million. Ampol will look to sell both electricity and gas across a number of Australian states and territories and compete against the major retailers.

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has accepted two applications from Ampol to enter the electricity and gas markets in Australia. The AER will accept submissions from interested parties surrounding measures it may need to enforce on Ampol before officially providing the company with a license to sell power.

Ampol’s customer advantage

Ampol will look to capitalise on its 3 million petrol customers and 80 thousand corporate customers to establish the basis of its energy retailer business, but will also look to challenge existing power companies for their customers.

Currently, Ampol says it plans to sell power to all states included in the National Energy Market, which are New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. Despite a focus on residential electricity, Ampol will also target small-medium businesses as well as the industrial market. 

The applications from Ampol reveal the company has appointed a number of industry names to head its energy division, with Mojo Power co-founder James Myatt and current head of the Australian Renewable Energy Division Darren Miller to lead the venture.

The petrol company follows in the steps of other major businesses extending into the energy market, including oil giant Shell and telco Telstra. Interest in entering the energy market has increased as customers have more frequently looked to switch providers and embrace renewable options.

Customer choices on energy?

Last year saw the Australian Energy Market Operator mandate rules that mean customers are able to switch power providers in just two days, opposed to the potential three-month wait that was generally accepted previously. 

On another front, Ampol has also received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy (ARENA) to roll out 120 electric vehicle chargers at its service stations around the country, powered by solar and battery systems as it looks to support the transition to cleaner power.

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