Assessing the energy retail market’s competitiveness and efficiency

Consumer Action has provided a submission to the Essential Services Commission’s (ESC) consultation “Assessing the competitiveness and efficiency of the Victorian energy retail market”

The submission emphasises that it is important for the ESC to monitor energy retailers to ensure fair outcomes for all households. We reiterate that “competition is a means to an end rather than an end in itself.”

We suggest that outcomes for households that disengage from the energy market and potential gaps or inconsistencies in consumer protections for gas when compared to electricity should be among the ESC’s priorities.

We also suggest that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this review takes on a different dimension. Regulators are, rightly, acutely focused on delivering good outcomes for customers. Attention must be given to any coordinated action by energy retailers to ensure there is independent oversight and involve consumer groups and civil society. This is essential to retain trust—we should not be divulging important social decisions to corporate interests alone at this time.

Read the full submission [here]

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