Proposed rules to give consumers easier access to electricity consumption data

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has made draft rules to make it easier for consumers to access information about their electricity consumption from distribution network companies and retailers in an easy-to-understand, affordable and timely manner.

Information to be made available by retailers and distribution network companies on request includes the customer’s metering data and the data used to calculate consumer bills.

This information could be used by consumers to better understand their current electricity use and to choose new products or services (such as time-delay appliances which can be used when electricity is cheaper or to help inform decisions on the costs and benefits of adopting direct load control).

Consumers could also agree to provide this information to energy service providers. These providers could compete with retailers to offer innovative products and services to consumers.

The Commission’s draft rules were made in response to a request from the COAG Energy Council. It is the first proposed rule in a suite of extensive market changes that will implement the AEMC’s Power of Choice reforms designed to enable better and more informed consumer choices.

Submissions made to the Power of Choice Review suggested that most residential consumers do not have adequate information about the costs of their consumption (eg on running air conditioners) or the appropriate enabling metering technology that would show their usage profile.

The Power of Choice review identified the necessary arrangements to give consumers the information, education, incentives and tools that they need to efficiently manage their electricity use. Consumers are in the best position to decide what action is right for them. Together, the Power of Choice reforms provide tools that consumers can use to choose how they use electricity and to manage their spending.

This draft rules in particular are also another step forward in the establishment of a competitive market for services enabled by smart meters.

The draft rules would:

  • allow customers to request access to their electricity consumption data from a distribution network service provider, in addition to a retailer;
  • allow parties authorised by customers to access their electricity consumption data;
  • require retailers and distribution network service providers to comply with minimum requirements relating to format, time frames and costs when a customer, or a party authorised by that customer, requests their electricity consumption data.

The Commission has called for submissions to be made on the draft rule by 25 September 2014.

For more information contact:

AEMC Chairman, John Pierce, (02) 8296 7800

Media Contact: Prudence Anderson, Communications Manager (0404) 821 935

or DL (02) 8296 7817