PIAC responded to the AEMC Strategic Priorities Discussion Paper. PIAC’s view is that energy is an essential service that should be affordable for everyone, and it is possible, and necessary, to reduce average household energy bills by 25% by 2025. PIAC considers that consumers should be thought of in four cohorts, based on their relative levels of engagement and advantage, for the purposes of consumer protections and promoting competition that works for all consumers.
PIAC noted that Demand Response and Demand Side Participation need to be prioritised, as any part in the energy supply chain that does not have an effective level of demand-side participation cannot be considered to be operating efficiently. PIAC supported the AEMC in promoting initiatives and programs that lead to efficient price outcomes, accessible information and effective participation, and agrees that a raft of measures is required to help consumers to fully understand and engage in the energy market. PIAC considers, however, that consumers should pay a fair and reasonable price for their energy without being engaged. PIAC also makes a number of observations about energy retail markets, networks, and governance in the NEM.