Australian energy provider AGL Energy (AGL) has partnered with Microsoft to deploy an innovative, cloud-powered data platform that enables AGL to provide Consumer Data Right services to consumers, in compliance with the nation’s rigorous Consumer Data Right (CDR) legislation. This move will empower consumers and create exciting new possibilities for AGL to deliver personalised customer experiences.

The CDR was passed by the Australian Government in August 2019 to give consumers more control over their data by allowing them to choose who they want to share it with and how it should be used. Under the rules, consumer data can only be transferred securely between accredited industry providers (such as energy providers) and accredited third parties (such as comparison websites) using an automated data technology system that is strictly regulated by the Australian Government.

After being rolled out to the banking industry in July 2020, the CDR was extended to apply to the energy sector. AGL was one of three initial energy retailers required to have a compliant and operational CDR solution in place by 15 November 2022 to enable AGL to facilitate customer requests to share their data with accredited third parties.

Following extensive marketplace research, AGL chose to build its own CDR solution using the Microsoft Cloud. AGL also collaborated with several Microsoft partners, government agencies and external software-as-a-service providers.

“As custodians of our customers’ personal information, it’s critical that we had a platform in place to facilitate a secure exchange of their data on the CDR marketplace,” said Hugh Fahy, Chief Technology Officer at AGL.

“Our partnership with Microsoft, in collaboration with other external partners, and our team’s extensive experience using the Microsoft Cloud enabled AGL to build a flexible, cost-efficient and compliant CDR platform in just 12 months and within the regulatory timeframe.”

The design of AGL’s solution allows the energy provider to scale to accommodate anticipated growth in the number of consumers wanting to share their energy data and compare deals in the CDR ecosystem.

The solution may also enable AGL to unlock potential growth opportunities if it decides to become an accredited data recipient (ADR). These opportunities include recruiting more customers to participate in AGL’s Virtual Power Plant scheme and offering customers personalised and innovative services, such as:

  • machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities for bill forecasting, bill management and bill smoothing;
  • data integrations with open banking, which is the financial sector’s application of the CDR; and
  • recommendations on more efficient energy usage.

Jo Dooley, Enterprise Lead at Microsoft Australia and New Zealand, said: “We’re proud to have supported AGL’s data transformation project with a secure, scalable and compliant solution in the cloud. Microsoft is committed to helping other organisations understand their CDR responsibilities and bring their own innovative solutions to life.”

Read the full media release here.