Energy Consumers Australia welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the work of the independent panel conducting a review of electricity and gas retail markets in Victoria (the Review).
As Victoria led the way first in moving to full retail contestability and then price deregulation in energy markets almost a decade ago, it is both timely and important that there be a retail market review at this time.
Further, decisions that are made in Victoria in relation to market design and regulatory frameworks will have important consequences for national market participants, and in particular energy retailers.
Despite this, Victorian consumers are telling us that they are not satisfied with the value for money of their electricity and gas services when compared with other services such as mobile phones and banking. Levels of confidence and trust in the market are also low.
This Review provides an opportunity to restore confidence and trust and to improve consumer outcomes, by improving the quality and effectiveness of competition in this market. It is also an opportunity to address market design and set a blueprint for the regulatory framework that supports innovation and is resilient in the context of the transformation currently underway in energy markets. In our view, this should include working towards greater national consistency in consumer protection frameworks to minimise regulatory burdens and to facilitate new entry by players from adjacent markets or international businesses that have scale in their own markets.
Energy Consumers Australia looks forward to further dialogue with the Review Panel on this critical task.
You can read the full submission here.
If you would like to discuss this submission further, please do not hesitate to contact Lynne Gallagher, Director of Research.