In August 2017, the AER, Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Energy Consumers Australia announced a joint initiative to explore ways to improve sector engagement and identify opportunities for regulatory innovation. The goal of this initiative is to ensure that customers’ preferences drive energy network businesses proposals and regulatory outcomes.
The project has included the development of a model for a different approach to revenue resets which is being trialed by AusNet Services. This is a process of ‘learning by doing’ and alongside it the project team is conducting a live engagement process of consultation to refine the proposed approach from the lessons of the trial and further contributions from stakeholders. This includes releasing project monitoring and insights reports at significant milestones.
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has released its Draft Decision on AusNet Services’ Revenue Proposal and on 3 December AusNet Services submitted its revised proposal in response. Submissions on the Draft Decision can be made to the AER by 8 January 2021.
Three rounds of monitoring and insights reports undertaken by the Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA) are now available on the AER’s website. The latest report, an Interim Evaluation Report, considers AusNet Services’ trial of New Reg up to the AER’s Draft Decision. A Final Report will be released once the AER makes its Final Decision. This evaluation will be an input into further consideration of the many different consumer engagement models that will occur early in the new year.
If you would like to receive updates throughout this consultation process, please register your interest at: RegulatoryInnovation@aer.gov.au
If you would like further information on Energy Consumers Australia’s involvement email Jacqueline Crawshaw.
Comments on NewReg
The AusNet Services trial is one of many models of consumer engagement that network businesses have undertaken over the last couple of years. Recent models of engagement have included Customer Councils, Consumer Challenge Panels, deliberative forums, citizens juries, active jurisdictional advocates, and Energy Consumers Australia, in addition to the Customer Forum model trialled with AusNet Services under NewReg.
In 2021, we will be seeking stakeholder views on the various engagement models that have evolved since the first Better Regulation Consumer Engagement Guideline.
Ahead of both that consultation and the completion of the CEPA evaluation, we would like to invite comments on the AusNet trial and the CEPA Interim Evaluation Report through the form below: