Submission to 2015 Retail Competition Review Consultation Paper Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
This submission responded to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) Consultation Paper for its 2015 Retail Competition Review (the Consultation Paper). The Consultation Paper seeks comment on the AEMC’s proposed approach for its 2015 review of the competitive retail energy market. In the submission, PIAC emphasised the importance of assessing whether the competitive retail market was delivering good outcomes for consumers, especially in light of the complexity consumers face in trying to find a ‘better’ offer. PIAC also recommended that the AEMC examine other sources of data about the competitive market as part of its review, including that collected by the St Vincent de Paul Society of Victoria. PIAC further argued that the AEMC should examine whether consumers are switching to a cheaper contract without leaving their incumbent retailer. These changes would not be captured by statistics about switching rates from one retailer to another, but may suggest that market pressure is being exerted on the dominant retailers. In addition, PIAC recommended that the AEMC examine the level of product innovation occurring in the market. Finally, PIAC argued that the most important indicator of an effectively competitive market is whether prices are reducing, in real or nominal terms.