Energy Consumers Australia has provided comments on the ‘Consumer Data Right in Energy Consultation Paper: data access models for energy data.’
Our interest in consumer access to their energy data has been sustained over more than two years. We made a submission to the Productivity Commission Data Availability and Use Inquiry in December 2016. We prepared our own discussion paper in July 2017 proposing a facilitated approach for using the existing provisions for access to consumption data under the National Electricity Rules (NER) and leveraging the capability of the AEMO e-hub.
The Productivity Commission Data Availability and Use Inquiry identified that there was significant economic benefit from a fundamental review of our approach to data. Data that could be used to improve decision making — be that of consumers, suppliers or policy makers — is currently locked away through the approach of current laws and approaches.
The protections in the Privacy Act do not provide an adequate framework for managing the collection of data, they are used as a basis for restricting consumers’ access to and use of their own data. It is instructive that the ACCC digital platforms inquiry has found that the central construct of the Privacy Act — ‘personal information’ — is likely to cause significant confusion for consumers.
We favour an approach that is based on the use and management of data for consumer benefit rather than ‘personal information’. The focus of the framework should be providing confidence to consumers about their participation in markets.
The full submission can be read here.