Energy Consumers Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide comment on the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) Energy prices in embedded networks industry consultation paper. This review looks at how energy prices should be set for NSW embedded network consumers and the benefits and risks of hot and chilled water embedded networks.
As the number of residential and small business consumers living in embedded networks grows, the issue of how to ensure these consumers have adequate protection and access to affordable energy as an essential service is growing too. IPART’s review is one of many occurring nationally to better understand the experiences of embedded network consumers and the appropriate regulation required.
IPART’s review is an important step in ensuring consumers in embedded networks have access to consumer protections that are equal to consumers in the competitive retail energy market. When reviewing how energy prices for embedded network consumers are set, and the benefits and risks of hot and chilled water embedded networks, it is our view that:
- Any criteria used to assess potential methods for setting maximum prices should prioritise ensuring consumers have access to affordable and reliable energy,
- The maximum price for electricity should be lower than the Default Market Offer prices,
- Consumers in hot and chilled water embedded networks should have access to the same degree of protections as consumers already protected under the National Energy Customer Framework; and,
- Changes to regulation should be considered within the broader national context.
Read the full submission here.