COAG Energy Council review of Consumer participation in revenue determinations Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
PIAC noted that long term funding certainty, and retention of knowledge and experience in the sector, is essential for consumer advocacy to make a lasting impact. Building capacity in the consumer sector over time is a priority, and is essential that long term funding arrangements are in place. PIAC noted that the certainty afforded by EWCAP’s five-year contract has enabled PIAC to confidently implement long term direction to underpin the strategic, proactive and evidence-based advocacy that most effectively promotes the long-term interests of consumers.
PIAC noted that since ECA was envisaged, the demands on consumer advocates have grown well beyond the collective capacity of ECA and other advocates, due to increased focus on engagement by energy market bodies and industry, a stepwise increase in the number of ‘routine’ reforms and other processes under the direction of existing market bodies, and new reforms relating to energy security and reliability that were not anticipated before late 2016.
These require the engagement of skilled and responsive consumer advocates, and often include short timeframes for extensive analysis and engagement with little or no forewarning. PIAC is concerned that in the absence of commensurate National funding, these factors are contributing to a dearth of nationally-resourced consumer representation in processes which impact the energy costs paid by all consumers.