PIAC responded to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) Review of the performance and competitiveness of the NSW retail electricity market – draft report.
PIAC supports IPART’s ongoing role in monitoring the performance and competitiveness of the NSW retail electricity market and considers IPART has the scope to provide wider and more targeted analysis to better promote the interests of NSW households and other energy users.
We consider IPART has a unique and important role as an expert, jurisdiction-specific regulator with a remit to monitor, assess and provide information and recommendations on the performance of the energy market.
We recommend that it revise its previous approach to this review, in particular its assumptions regarding the intrinsic value of retail competition, and test aspects of the nature of competition and how it performs in relation to the actual impacts and outcomes for NSW households and other energy users.
We highlight that, while existing monitoring uses median and average bill data as an indication of the performance of the market, this provides an incomplete and potentially misleading picture, and presumes general availability of these offers and high engagement. We outline a number of considerations to achieve a more accurate and complete picture of the performance of the market and real outcomes for consumers.
PIAC considers that a number of the conclusions IPART draws in the draft report do not accurately represent the performance of the retail market in respect of the outcomes and impacts for NSW consumers.