The power system and market are increasingly underpinned by digital technologies that make it easier choose and control how, when and where power is delivered and used. We are increasingly focusing on embracing market frameworks so customers can reap the benefits of these technologies.

Improvements to regulatory frameworks have been made over the years so customers have appropriate protections and more choice and control over their energy use and costs. These foundations have helped energy shoppers get more engaged and better informed, paving the way for new technologies to deliver benefits for families and businesses.

Today, digital technologies in our homes and workplaces are creating significant opportunities for consumers to self-manage their energy in ways that were previously impossible. Reforms are needed to help consumers take full advantage of these digital technologies.

Customers can now access and respond to personalised information about their energy use and costs.  For many customers this may just mean better and more timely information that will help them manage their costs, but for some customers it will provide a means for greater engagement.

Personalised portals, energy management systems and other digital platforms will give customers a way to buy, sell and use energy where, how and when they want it. Smart technologies mean households and businesses can take advantage of demand response – and that means the power system can avoid the cost of more spending on poles and wires to service new peaks in electricity demand for only a few hours a year.

For those involved in operating the power system, this granular data will underpin more efficient operational and investment decisions. Policy makers will also be able to use digital technologies to inform their policy decisions.

The AEMC is prioritising work to leverage the digitalisation of energy supply to benefit customers and the power system.

Current projects

Current projects to help consumers benefit from the digitalisation of energy supply include:

  • Two-sided market: we are working with the Energy Security BoardAER and AEMO to develop a high-level design for a two-sided marketplace, to be delivered to the COAG Energy Council in March 2020 as a priority. This work is exploring the ways digitalisation can enable consumer demand to interact directly with supply to set real-time prices.
     
  • Demand response requests from PIAC/TEC/TAI, SA Government and AEC seek, in various ways, to put demand response directly into the wholesale market to effectively ‘compete’ with generation to meet demand. Demand response can be an alternative to peak, high cost generation.  
     
  • Updating regulatory framework for embedded networks: recommends changes to laws and rules to give the growing number of people in private networks the same protections as customers who are directly connected to the grid. Embedded networks can include innovative products and services such as on-site solar generation, battery storage and demand management services. These can offer important benefits to customers provided they are appropriately regulated and customers are fully informed when they sign up to these deals which can last for many years. 
     
  • Advanced meters: as part of our ongoing work on the implementation of the roll-out of advanced meters, we are assessing a rule change related to the process for installing advanced meters in apartment blocks and other multi-occupancy situations where metering providers have experienced practical challenges during the installation process. This will help make it quicker and cheaper for customers to obtain an advanced meter. We will also continue to monitor metering issues and commence a review of the implementation and effectiveness of the new rules in 2020. 

Read more about what the AEMC has done to lay the foundations so customers can benefit from the digitalisation of energy supply.