Both sides of politics are once again engulfed in a fervent energy blame-fest, an ideological battle of coal versus renewables.

Regulation has failed in electricity and gas since the turn of the century. Prices have rocketed under corporatisation and privatisation. Much of it comes down to big energy companies, and their lawyers and consultants, gaming the regulators.

Network operator, the Australian Energy Market Operator, state governments and the Australian Energy Regulator, have allowed these foreign and domestic energy giants – as well as their own electricity companies – to earn super-sized returns – returns of more than 1000 per cent in some cases over 15 years.

We chat with Wendy Harmer.