The Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the government’s Interim Response to the Independent Review of the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets in Victoria (Independent Review).
The Consultation Paper emphasises that energy policy should be developed with reference to the guiding principles established by the Independent Review. The principles state that:
- Energy is an essential service that underpins our health and wellbeing and our social and economic participation;
- Competition is a means to deliver benefits to consumers but not an end in itself;
- The retail energy market should deliver benefits to all consumers, not just those who are capable, interested and able to navigate its complexity;
- An effective market should reduce the costs consumers pay;
- Consumers should be able to control their energy costs through managing their energy use;
- Passive customers should not be blamed for not navigating the retail energy market;
- Vulnerable and at-risk consumers must have access to affordable energy and should not cross-subsidise other consumers; and
- Transparency is fundamental to an effective retail energy market.
180403 CALC Sub to DELWP Independent Review Consultation Paper