Alternatives to grid-supplied network services rule change Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
PIAC responded to the AEMC on the alternatives to grid-supplied network services rule change. PIAC supports the intent of the rule change to clarify that a DNSP can provide off-grid solutions where they provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional network supply. The rule change proposal only considers the case where the DNSP provides all aspects of the off-grid supply for a customer. PIAC puts forward several alternative models which retain many aspects of the customer’s current grid-supply arrangements including the role of an authorised retailer and associated consumer protection obligations (such as access to hardship programs and ombudsman services as well as the choice of retailer).
The submission also discusses the risks which for consumers who are going off-grid and the various consumer protections required to address these. PIAC supports some limitations on the situations where the DNSP can provide an off-grid solution as a regulated service – that it will only extend to customers who are currently grid-connected, and the DNSP identifies that an off-grid solution is a more cost-efficient alternative to continuing their grid supply.