EWCAP vision and objectives

Transmission lines

The Energy and Water Consumers’ Advocacy Program (EWCAP) works to ensure New South Wales households have access to affordable and sustainable energy and water.

We do this through a mix of advocacy, research, agenda setting, and working closely with community organisations, other consumer advocates, governments, rule-makers, regulators, ombudsmen and industry stakeholders.

We have a community-based reference group whose members include:

  • NSW Council of Social Service;
  • Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of NSW;
  • Ethnic Communities Council NSW;
  • Salvation Army;
  • Physical Disability Council NSW;
  • St Vincent de Paul NSW;
  • Good Shepherd Microfinance;
  • Affiliated Residential Park Residents Association NSW;
  • Tenants Union;
  • Solar Citizens; and
  • The Sydney Alliance.

EWCAP’s vision is that by 2025:

  • NSW household energy bills are 25% lower than 2017/18 levels,
  • Australia is transitioning to a low carbon energy system, and
  • NSW energy users enjoy reliability of a level they’re willing to pay for.

We have a number of objectives for achieving this vision. They relate to the market, networks, energy choice, and supporting policies.

Market outcomes

Competition delivers meaningful choice for consumers and more affordable energy services, ensuring that the transition to the future energy system is sustainable and fair.

  • All retail consumers get a fair deal for essential energy services, the choice to access a range of options for delivery, and are not disadvantaged if they choose not to participate.
  • The wholesale market is redesigned to reflect the changing physics and needs of the energy system, including access to demand side options for all types of consumers, a clear transition plan to clean energy, technological neutrality and resilience to the exit of existing generators.

Network efficiency & reliability

NSW energy networks are efficient, underpinned by transparent decision making and effective regulation.

  • The regulator is expert and strong, with the power and resources to do its job.
  • Its decisions should bind and, if challenged, should be subject to a balanced appeals process.
  • All decisions that affect NSW consumers should be underpinned by strong consumer engagement, and trade-offs should reflect consumer preferences.
  • Cost of new investment in networks should be recovered on a beneficiary-pays basis. Assistance

NSW consumers are entitled to rebate and payment assistance measures that help ensure continued, affordable, equitable access to energy and water services, avoiding disconnection and debt accumulation.

  • No-one loses access to their essential services because they are unable to pay.
  • NSW consumers are aware of available assistance and the obligation for it to be offered.

Energy choice

All NSW consumers have the option to choose how they pay for, use, generate and store energy.

  • Consumers are not disadvantaged based on their option for access, or on whether they choose not to participate in any particular way.
  • For NSW consumers of distributed energy resources, there are protections commensurate with the potential level of harm, including appropriate explicit informed consent obligations, dispute resolution procedures and, where appropriate, consistency with retail protections.

Supporting policies

Non-energy specific policies, such as building and appliance standards, health, data and transport, maximise efficiency and contribute to reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply and consumption that supports the health, wellbeing and opportunity of NSW households.

  • A whole of economy and society energy strategy is developed and implemented that considers outcomes for renters, remote communities and other potentially vulnerable households, and includes climate responses which leave no-one behind.

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