The Australian Energy Market Commission today provided its final advice to the COAG Energy Council on implementing a shared market protocol to define the language or format of communication between parties using advanced meters.

This advice is part of the market-wide energy reform program called Power of Choice, which is facilitating more efficient price signals; allowing customers to choose from a wider range of energy services; and giving them the information they need to choose the electricity services that suit them best.

The Power of Choice review said services supported by new metering technology could help consumers manage the level and cost of their power usage.

The final advice on how a shared market protocol for smart meters could be implemented is an important step in the establishment of a competitive market for new energy services.

A shared market protocol would define a standard for the communications used between businesses seeking access to the services available from smart meters. Its development is being undertaken alongside the related rule change process on competition in metering and related services.

A shared market protocol is expected to promote competition in the market for advanced metering services by reducing barriers to entry for new energy service companies while not inhibiting innovation in the method of communications.

This advice builds on the AEMC’s 2014 advice into open access and common communications standards, which recommended that a shared market protocol should be introduced.

The final advice released today recommends that a shared market protocol be implemented by updating the existing business to business (B2B) arrangements in the National Electricity Rules to provide for parties using advanced metering services.

The COAG Energy Council will now consider the recommendations in this advice and may submit a rule change request to the AEMC.