Government support for national energy advocacy

At its meeting on Friday 31 May the Standing Council on Energy and Resources (SCER) – made up of Ministers from all Australian governments – agreed in principal to establish a national energy consumer advocacy body with initial set up from 1 July 2014.

The SCER released and ‘welcomed’ a report by its expert advisers John Tamblyn and John Peirce on final proposals for a national energy consumer advocacy body.

The SCER Communiqué noted that the advocacy body is “an important component of reforms to increase te consumer voice in national energy market matters of strategic importance and material consequence for energy consumers, particularly household and small business consumers”

SCER has asked officials to develop a detailed implementation plan for consideration by SCER before the end of 2013. It noted that “this process may involve further stakeholder consultation.”

The SCER Communiqué outlines a number of other energy market reform matters considered by SCER including strengthening governance of the AER and AEMC, an update on the National Energy Customer Framework – which will be implemented in NSW from 1 July 2013 – and a response to possible ‘sustained reductions in demand’.

Finally the Communiqué also notes consideration of a number of demand side participation matters including advice on arrangements for electric vehicles and national smart meter consumer protections.