On 20 April 2020 the Energy Security Board (ESB) released its paper exploring what a two-sided market – where all types of energy users actively buy and sell electricity – could look like. The ESB is calling for submissions on the proposed move to a two-sided market.

The move to a two-sided market will mean rethinking some key fundamentals – such as shedding traditional views of how certain participants act in the market and how the rules should apply to them. It suggests replacing the diverse arrangements that exist today around retailers, generators, aggregators et cetera with two simple categories – those who use electricity and those who sell it on behalf of end users.

This will mean the market rules can be streamlined and make it easier for new types of traders to enter the market. It could also mean that single end users could be their own trader for some services – and use other traders to buy or provide other services for them. 

Technology will also mean that consumers won’t need to monitor electricity prices and decide how or when to participate as these decisions could be set up to happen autonomously or in an agreed way via their retailer or aggregator.

The discussion paper identifies a sliding scale of options, from voluntary participation of energy users to full participation. All have benefits and drawbacks, so while full participation is the gold standard, a transitional approach might help the market adapt.

The ESB is seeking feedback on the two-sided market paper and seeking written submissions by 18 May 2020. Further opportunities for comment and consultation will occur throughout 2020 as the ideas are developed.

Media: Kellie Bisset, 0438 490 041