We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Strategic Energy Plan, Consultation on Proposed Metrics (Paper). It is crucial that the Strategic Energy Plan, which can play a role in guiding policy, regulation and business decisions during a period of change in the energy system, is tied to the longterm interests of consumers and their experience in the market.
Where possible, the metrics the sector uses to assess its performance must be based on consumer outcomes, not least of which is energy affordability, rather than the input or process measures that are not always a reliable guide to the health of a market.
Recent action by the Big 3 retailers following the roundtable with the Federal Minister for Energy, including to improve concessions support for customers and to reduce prices for standing offer customers, is an important first step in this process. More significant price reductions, and longer-term initiatives like The Energy Charter, should create space for governments to resume a more normal oversight role.
The next round of retail price announcements is an important opportunity for retailers and networks to work together through The Energy Charter framework to deliver improved affordability outcomes for consumers and begin to re-build trust. The resolution of the remittal of the 2014-19 NSW distribution network determinations, means that $730 million in savings must begin to be returned to households and small businesses in that jurisdiction, from 1 July 2019.
The full submission can be read here.