PIAC responded to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s consultation on an Interim Authorisation (the Authorisation) granted to the Australian Energy Market Operator that would allow the operator to engage in certain conduct to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the energy system and integrity of wholesale markets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We support the ACCC granting the Authorisation and consider it will likely have little negative impact on consumers. We highlight the importance of the ACCC engaging with consumer advocates as early as possible on matters that may materially affect consumers. We also recommend establishing some consumer oversight of the outcomes of the Authorisation.
We suggest the Authorisation may not need to be in place for 12 months and the ACCC should consider whether a shorter period is more appropriate.