PIAC responded to the AEMC Reliability Frameworks Review Issues Paper. PIAC suggested some refinements to the approach of the Review. PIAC expressed concern that, if full regard to the cost impacts and consumer expectations is not given in developing new reliability measures, we will end up with a gold-plated wholesale market. With respect to distribution outages (which constitute as least 90% of all outages) consumers are voicing that they are satisfied with their levels of reliability, are more concerned about affordability, and they are prepared to accept lower reliability as a way of controlling costs.
PIAC agreed with the AEMC’s assessment that demand response in other parts of the system is more prevalent, but maintained that a mechanism to allow energy users and third parties to bid demand reduction into the wholesale market, independently of energy purchasing arrangements, is increasingly essential if that market is to deliver efficiency outcomes that are in the long-term interest of all consumers.
PIAC also provided informal written material to the AEMC (some of which was later adopted by the AEMC in their preliminary report) and was nominated by Energy Consumers Australia to represent consumer interests on the AEMC’s Reference Group for this review.