29 August 2019

More power over energy bills for consumers


Joint media release with
The Hon Angus Taylor MP
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

The Morrison Government will give consumers more power to compare and switch providers to lower their energy bills by officially extending the Consumer Data Right to energy services.

The Consumer Data Right provides consumers with greater access to their personal information, giving them power to instruct businesses to provide safe and secure access of their data to trusted third parties.

Extending the Consumer Data Right to energy builds upon the progress already made applying it to the banking sector, through what is known as Open Banking. Legislation to give effect to the Consumer Data Right for banking was passed by the Parliament on 1 August 2019. From February 2020, for the first time consumers will have greater access to information that banks hold on them and will be able to use it to shop around and get a better deal.

As we move to extend the Consumer Data Right to energy, the Government has today released a consultation paper seeking feedback on the data sets and data access model that will apply to the energy sector.

The Government also welcomes the release of the ACCC's positon paper on the data access model for the energy sector, following consultation conducted earlier this year. The ACCC is proposing to use the AEMO gateway model for sharing electricity market data.

Giving consumers more control over their data will support the development of more convenient products and services that are customised to individuals' needs encouraging more competition, lower prices and better switching between electricity plans and providers.

Thirty per cent of electricity consumers do not switch due to the effort required and 22 per cent due to lack of information.

A consumer would be around $1,000 better off by switching from the worst to the best electricity plan in both New South Wales and South Australia. A small business would be over $7,000 better off in South Australia and over $4,500 better off in Victoria from a similar switch.

The Consumer Data Right for energy will initially apply to the National Electricity Market and will be expanded to other energy markets over time.