Submission: Electricity network regulatory frameworks—Productivity Commission draft report

Consumer Action has responded to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Electricity Network Regulatory Frameworks.

We have found the Commission‘s review of the Electricity Network Regulatory Frameworks to have been a welcome assessment of how the market is working and we believe that many of the recommendations would serve to advance the interests of consumers in the market, should they be adopted and implemented effectively.

We note, however, that the scope of the Draft Report is much broader than that of the Issues Paper. This has presented a challenge in terms of adequately responding to each of the Draft Report’s recommendations. As a result, we have limited our comments in this submission to issues relating to consumer engagement, demand management and the institutional governance arrangements.

In our submission to the Issues Paper, we outlined in detail our support for benchmarking a useful addition to current regulatory price setting mechanisms. Given this, we are supportive of the Commission’s recommendations for the regulator to use benchmarking as a diagnostic tool in responding to business cost forecasts, and for all datasets relating to benchmarking to be made publicly available. Such public information can ensure consumers and consumer groups are informed about the relative performance of network businesses.

As an addendum to this submission, we have recently released the report, A Policy Trilemma; Creating an Affordable, Secure and Sustainable Energy Market. This report makes key recommendations for policy and regulatory reform that will best serve the long term interests of consumers. We urge the Commission to consider these recommendations in its final report, in lieu of a more detailed submission by Consumer Action at this time.

To read our submission, click here: Electricity network regulatory frameworks—Productivity Commission draft report.

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