This submission responded to the Australian Government’s Issues Paper for the development of an Energy White Paper (the Issues Paper). In the submission, PIAC supported the recent amendments to electricity network reliability standards, which PIAC believes will put downward pressure on electricity prices in the long term. PIAC also proposed new ways that electricity networks could consult with their consumers about preferences for reliability standards, which are a major driver of network investment. The submission also recommended that the Australian Government support strong and effective regulation of networks, including through properly resourcing the Australian Energy Regulator to carry out this function. In addition, the submission highlighted the high volume of complaints against energy retailers. Finally, the submission noted that customer assistance for energy bills had not kept place with increases in bills in recent years and recommended that the Australian Government examine the issue of concessions and other assistance.
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