A fair comparison: PIAC submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry, Electricity Network Regulation Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
The Productivity Commission is undertaking an Inquiry into electricitynetwork regulation. PIAC’s submission addresses the Inquiry’s work stream that is assessing the use of benchmarking in the regulatory framework. The submission supports an urgent and co-ordinated response from regulatory authorities to reduce price pressures that are, in part, resulting from burgeoning network charges. PIAC recognises the importance of establishing a robust benchmarking framework and the need to develop valid and reliable benchmarks that drive efficiency and other improvements. In PIAC’s view,NSW consumers can not wait until full regulatory change processes are undertaken to see any improvement to current systems. Rather, PIAC advocates a swift response that utilises currently available data to establish an initial benchmarking framework. PIAC also supports action to collect data that can expand and improve this process to finally arrive at a balanced suite of benchmarks. It is PIAC’s view that readily available comparative data will allow for greater transparency and accessibility of information related to network cost drivers. Given benchmarks appear to have successfully driven significant cost reductions in other jurisdictions, PIAC urges the Productivity Commission to take some action now to harness this capability in the NSW network price determination process.