Tesla to take on incumbents in Australia’s retail market


Tesla’s plan to establish itself as a standalone energy retailer has been confirmed with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) revealing it has accepted the company’s application for an electricity retailer authorisation and opened it up for submissions.

Tesla, via the recently formed Tesla Energy Ventures Australia, is seeking an electricity retailer licence in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The company is also applying to the Victorian Essential Services Commission for a licence to sell electricity in that state.

In its application to the AER, Tesla said it would be targeting both residential and commercial customers, noting that now is “an opportune time to become a retailer and bring new offers to the market.”

Tesla has already provided the technology for multiple large-scale battery energy storage systems in Australia, including the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia and the Victoria Big Battery.

It also enjoyed success at the residential level with its Powerwall home battery system, including in the South Australian Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and the Tesla Energy Plan (TEP) which spans NSW, the ACT, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

The VPP and the energy plan are currently managed through electricity and gas retailer Energy Locals but Tesla said it is seeking to obtain an electricity retailer authorisation so it can be the provider and retailer of the offerings.

“Electric cars, batteries, and renewable energy generation and storage already exist independently but when combined, they become even more powerful – that is the future we want,” the company said.

Tesla, which has a market capitalisation of more than $770 billion (USD 500 billion), said it plans a phased approach to retail directly to existing customers before broadening its scope to attract additional customers.

Tesla said its technology-driven capabilities will allow it to bring “differentiated product offerings” to market and continue to “disrupt the traditional incumbents in the market.”

“Tesla is committed to delivering on a fully sustainable residential ecosystem,” it said.

AER will accept submissions on Tesla’s electricity retailer authorisation application until 18 December 2023.

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