This submission responded to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) Approach Paper for its review of competition in the retail energy market across the National Energy Market (NEM) (The Approach Paper). The 2014 review was the first time the AEMC undertook a review of competition across the NEM, as opposed to within a single jurisdiction. PIAC’s comments in the submission addressed issues including:
- the importance of assessing competition in rural areas as well as major capital cities;
- whether retailers in a particular area are offering a variety of tariff shapes, allowing customers to potentially benefit from choosing an offer that is best for them;
- the retail component of prices, including retail profit margins and the ‘high and unexplained’ retail costs in Victoria;
- a low ability of suppliers to enter the market possibly indicating that the price is close to the efficient level and that the market is delivering benefit to consumers; and
- customer satisfaction and complaints.