Telstra to join energy market with initial focus on existing customers

Utility towers with dawn sky

Telecommunications giant Telstra is set to join the Australian energy market, after being granted a license to offer power services to its 13 million phone and broadband customers. 

Telstra Energy will operate under the Telstra brand, with the Australian Energy Regulator granting the company a license to sell electricity and gas in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and South Australia. The license also grants Telstra to sell electricity in Tasmania. Telstra has also applied for licenses in Victoria. 

Although the telco will likely target its 13 million existing customers first with its energy offerings, it’s believed Telstra will offer plans for both households and larger industrial users. Telstra already operates some infrastructure within the National Energy Market as a generator, with a large portfolio of batteries and diesel generators providing back up for its towers. 

Ben Burge, Executive Director of Telstra last year made it clear that the company was looking to enter the energy market, with a focus on providing sustainable products to customers. This follows Telstra’s accreditation as a carbon neutral business in July of last year, however it has previously invested carbon credits overseas due to a lack of local opportunity. 

The company now looks to bring carbon neutral to Australia, with clean energy likely top of its list. Telstra has already agreed to deals with two wind farms to on-sell clean power to customers.

More Aussie companies entering new markets

Telstra joins a range of other large companies reaching into new markets. Commonwealth Bank recently announced plans to enter both the energy and broadband markets, while AGL Energy last year purchased internet service provider Southern Phone. 

An increase in the uptake of renewable energy has made it easier for companies to enter the energy market, where traditionally providers needed large generators to provide electricity to customers. 

In the modern energy market, retailers are able to lock in contracts with large-scale renewable energy farms to on-sell to customers. With a range of government subsidies for companies building clean energy infrastructure, it’s also cheaper for retailers to build up a portfolio of generators. 

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