Constructive suggestions on protecting consumers as the energy market evolves emerged from a recent AEMC public workshop on the issue. 

The workshop, held on 6 February 2020 in Sydney, was an opportunity for stakeholders, the AEMC and other market bodies to discuss our two issues papers published in December.

These papers, which form part of our 2020 Retail Energy Competition Review, look at consumer protections as new energy products and services emerge, as well as the impact of digitalisation on the traditional sale of energy. 

Discussion notes and the slides from the workshop are now available.

The workshop was split into five sessions covering the following topics:

New energy products and services (Issues paper 1)

  1. The rationale for energy specific consumer protections. What are the elements that define the nature of the supply of energy as an essential service? Have those elements changed with the evolution of the market?
  2. Applying consumer protections and regulatory boundaries. How boundaries between the traditional sale of energy and new energy products and services are a key to understanding when and why consumer protections are triggered.
  3. The objectives of consumer regulatory frameworks. What are the objectives an overarching consumer framework should meet and how are each of these addressed under the three consumer frameworks (Australian Consumer Law, National Energy Customer Framework, and voluntary codes)? 

Traditional sale of energy (Issues paper 2)    

  1. Providing information to consumers. The potential for market evolution and digitalisation to change the information in bills and mandatory customer notices.
  2. Explicit informed consent and cooling-off periods. How might explicit informed consent and cooling-off period requirements change in an evolving market?

Submissions on our issues papers are due today. A final report will be published with the 2020 Retail Energy Competition Review in June.

Media: Kellie Bisset, Media and Content Manager, 0438 490 041 or (02) 8296 7813.