From the Interim CEO
This past month we’ve seen a transformation in Australia.
I am, of course, talking about our collective adoption of the Matildas. We’re now all experts on the offside rule; can reel off stats about Kerr, Raso, and Foord; and, most significantly, we’ve embraced women’s sport.
To the outside eye, this transformation has happened overnight. However, behind the scenes, coach Gustavsson had a clear plan, which he and the team have rolled out in the years leading up to the World Cup. This did not occur by chance.
Australian households are also undergoing a transformation that is no less monumental as we change the ways we heat, cool, and cook; and design our homes.
Five million households are connected to the gas network. These households collectively use around 18 million gas appliances. Australia has another 15 million fossil-fuelled passenger vehicles on the road today. To meet our net zero commitments, these 33 million machines must be replaced with electric alternatives. The scale of the change required is unprecedented.
How we get from where we are now to an all-electric future requires planning, support, and clear communication with households. Many households will be unable to make their changes on their own and will need support. These changes require a national multi-year plan that is even more far-reaching than Gustavsson’s.
This month, we launched a landmark report, Stepping Up, which investigates the cost benefits and barriers for households in going all electric. Significantly, it also includes a series of policy recommendations about how to achieve this. Chief among them is a recommendation for a new national partnership of all three levels of government to coordinate the energy transition for consumers and ensure it is as smooth as possible.
To do that, governments will need to develop that national plan. The plan will require a combination of top-down and structural policies that enable the shift away from fossil fuels, and bottom-up actions to support households when they’re making the change.
If governments step up and work together, all Australians can share access to the benefits of the transition, providing additional benefits for our communities, the economy, and the environment.
The Matildas have shown us what can happen when a collective vision grips the nation, I’m confident that household electrification can have its own Matildas moment.
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Join our Newsletter Community
Not a member of our newsletter community? Want to stay up to date on the latest news and research on energy issues that impact consumers? Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter today.
Stepping Up Launch
Supporting households go all-electric
To meet Australia’s emissions reductions targets, all households will need to electrify. However, to date, there has been limited understanding of the shared and individual costs and savings from electrification for consumers – so we engaged CSIRO and Dynamic Analysis to conduct the modelling.
Based on their findings, we have produced a companion policy report, Stepping Up: A Smoother Pathway to Decarbonising Homes.
The research shows there are savings for consumers after they go all-electric – but we know there are also costs and other barriers that make it difficult for some people to do so. Stepping Up sets out the case for a new national partnership across all levels of government to coordinate the energy transition for consumers.
For a breakdown of the report and analysis of the key findings, read our latest bECAuse blog on Stepping Up which provides you with all the key insights.
In the Media
We’ve been in the media discussing the findings of the Stepping Up report – and there’s been a lot of interest! Interim CEO Jacqueline Crawshaw spoke to Lisa Millar on ABC Breakfast TV, Matthew Pantelis on 5AA radio, and Danielle Ecuyer at Ausbiz. The report was also covered in the Australian Financial Review (paywall), Renew Economy, Energy Magazine, and the Fifth Estate.
Are you a social and digital whiz – or do you know one? We’re looking for a Social and Digital Manager to join our team.
You’ll be amplifying the voice of consumers to influence decision-makers and ensure a modern, flexible and resilient energy system that works for everyone in Australia.
Save the Date: Foresighting Forum 2024
The Foresighting Forum is our flagship event where we bring together leaders, decision makers and thinkers from across and beyond the energy sector to explore the future, the role of consumers in it, and the challenges and opportunities it brings. Over the two-day interactive event, participants will learn about and design solutions to some of the wicked problems facing our energy system and consider how to ensure that people are firmly embedded at its centre.
The event will be held in person on 14-15 February 2024 at the UTS Aerial Centre, Sydney. More details on how to register will be available soon.
Catch the latest episodes of our podcast, Watts Next. In Episode Eight, our Director, Policy (Energy Inclusion) Kerry Connors speaks with Davina Rooney, CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia about Australia’s eight million energy inefficient homes and what needs to be done to change the situation.
And in Episode Nine, Catherine Wolthuizen from the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria speaks with our Acting Policy Director, Melissa McAuliffe on the role of the modern ombudsmen in protecting energy consumers.
Understanding electricity distribution network utilisation rates work is important as they provide insights into how well the infrastructure was designed, how it is currently operating, and whether it will need to be upgraded in the future. However, how this is being measured is no longer fit for purpose, impacting consumers.
From the Grants Team
Last chance to apply for this round of grant funding! We’re on the search for new and exciting research or advocacy projects that aim to solve some of the pressing problems facing energy consumers. Applications close 31 August. More details on how to apply and eligibility can be found here.
To assist you in your application, we’ve also created Grant Priority Issues documents. These will help you understand the areas of research and advocacy where we would particularly like to make a difference.
Sometimes telemarketing calls are more than just annoying, they can be downright harmful. That’s why we support the proposed ban on telemarketing under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program to better protect consumers.
We’ve also made submissions to DEECA on Victoria’s Emergency Backstop Mechanism, to the Department for Energy and Mining on the Energy Transition in South Australia, and to the AER on Performance Reporting Procedures and Guidelines.
The Board met in Hobart in July and heard directly from TasNetworks’ Customer Council and the Tasmanian Government about issues impacting Tasmanian energy consumers – and what is being done about it.