However, the rules that govern the energy market – enforcing standards for safety and reliability, and protecting customers from market failures – are based on the old monolithic and centralised energy network, and don’t even apply to many of these new products and services.
After speaking with many people from government and the energy industry as well as consumer advocates over 12 months, the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) has written a new discussion paper, Empowering the Future: Appropriate Regulation and Consumer Protections in Emerging Energy Markets. This paper is intended as a basis for advocacy by groups that represent consumer interests in the policy development process.
In the ATA’s view, energy consumer protection frameworks should be expanded to cover the provision of all current and future energy-related services for households – not only where there is an explicit sale of energy.
As such, this paper proposes a re-visioning of the scope and application of energy market regulation to better suit the evolving market and ensure that consumers can participate in it with confidence, thanks to appropriate consumer protections.
Significantly, it proposes that consumer protections should apply based on the impact of market failures on the consumer and their essential supply of energy, rather than on the particular business model used to deliver the energy product or service.
Read the discussion paper Empowering the Future – Appropriate Regulation and Consumer Protections in Emerging Energy Markets