Submission to IPART Monitoring the retail energy markets during 2017-18 – information paper Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
PIAC supports the continued monitoring of both NSW retail electricity and gas prices by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART). Retail electricity prices across NEM states have steadily increased in real terms since deregulation of the retail electricity market began in the 1990s. Similarly, retail gas prices have increased significantly since 2011. Any price rises will further burden consumers – particularly low income and vulnerable consumers, for whom any increase to cost of living is of substantial detriment.
PIAC generally supports the indicators IPART has proposed for assessing competition. In particular, PIAC supports explicitly including customers’ ability to access and make meaningful use of time of use tariffs, digital metering and emerging technologies such as solar and storage as factors in considering the effectiveness of retail competition.
Many of the same issues apply to gas retail as for electricity. However, PIAC is particularly concerned that competition in the NSW gas market is not sufficient to ensure good consumer outcomes. Unlike electricity, price competition is very new in the gas market meaning that the market has had little time to develop.