Power Shift is a body of research providing evidence on which can be built better-targeted, more effective, and innovative energy management services and programs that will enhance the ability of consumers to manage their energy costs. The project was funded through an Australian Government grant from 2016-2019.
To mark the completion of the Power Shift grant, and the imminent publication of the report outlining the research, Energy Consumers Australia convened a workshop on the implications of Power Shift’s research findings for the energy market.
The theme of the workshop was ‘Opportunities to Empower Consumers.’ Power Shift’s longer-term objective can be expressed in simple terms:
That people are confident that the actions they take will make their home comfortable and control their energy bills and usage.
That goal was simple but remains an aspiration – substantial cultural and market change is required to achieve it. The insights produced through Power Shift’s research provide the sector with greater clarity and guidance on how to reach it. As CEO Rosemary Sinclair noted in her opening remarks, Power Shift essentially focuses on three core changes required to put power back in the hands of consumers:
- Meet people where they are – go beyond the quarterly paper bill and one size fits all to individualised, tailored services.
- Design for diversity – recognise difference in terms of climate zones, housing stock and needs to develop a range of options that are fit for purpose.
- Build and create trust – to partner with consumers.
Kerry Connors from Energy Consumers Australia outlined the Power Shift evidence base and what it tells the sector about how to provide effective assistance, information and tools.
Power Shift’s research not only points us to empowering people as consumers in today’s energy market but also how we can assist them in a future energy system enabled by the emergence of new technologies and services.
The workshop gathered some of the key researchers involved in the Power Shift project to talk about their research and its implications for government and industry. Chaired by Lynne Gallagher from Energy Consumers Australia, the Panel included:
- Marianne Lourey, Executive Director – ACIL Allen Consulting, outlining the two strategic frameworks developed – to capture the full range of benefits from energy efficiency, and a holistic framework to help decision-makers better target information and assistance measures;
- Chris Black, Director Policy and Projects – 89 Degrees East, who detailed the thinking behind the design and delivery of exemplar consumer information resources;
- Jason Cox – Australian Energy Foundation, who spoke to the AEF research recommendations on how to engage industry to focus on delivering a better consumer outcome; and
- Prof. Neil Horrocks, Centre Director – University of Queensland Redback Technologies Research Centre, who shared the research on consumer decision-making, and the potential benefit of digitalisation.
Video of the presentations and speeches is available below.