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Media release

Realising the consumer benefits of the energy transformation

The Consumer Action Law Centre has published a significant and important report, Power Transformed: Unlocking effective competition and trust in the transforming energy market.

‘This report is nationally significant and the principles for market development it puts forward can benefit all residential and small business electricity consumers,’ said Rosemary Sinclair, CEO of ECA.

Ms Sinclair said that the traditional model of energy supply is being replaced with a vast array of potential models, once different combinations of grid connection, embedded generation and storage, data and other demand response arrangements are considered. ‘The transformation of energy markets is hugely exciting. But the speed of change places increased importance on consumer confidence. So we must be ever vigilant’, Ms Sinclair said. The report identifies three principles to guide initiatives and interventions by businesses and governance institutions.

These are:

  • It should be easy for people to engage to make effective decisions
  • Appropriate consumer protections are applied to all energy products and services
  • The benefit of the transforming energy market should be shared across the community.

 

‘If given effect, these principles will contribute to good outcomes by helping consumers make better decisions and have confidence that they are appropriately protected when things go wrong’, said Ms Sinclair.

As Andrew Reeves, former Chair of the Australian Energy Regulator and Chair of the project’s Reference Group notes in the report, ‘the challenge for policy makers is to facilitate innovation while maintaining the community’s confidence in the long term benefits of change’. ‘I congratulate all involved in this ground breaking report, which will inform policy and regulation in this critical areas’, said Ms Sinclair.

‘This work has identified a way forward. All sides of the market must now work together to ensure that we realise the potential of the energy transformation, in the long term interests of consumer’.

The project was funded through the Energy Consumers Australia Grants Program.