AGL encourage outcomes focused regulation for consumer protections

AGL recently responded to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) consultation on the review of consumer protections in an evolving market for both new energy and traditional retailers. This review sought to understand consumer protections provided to energy customers under the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) and the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Specifically, the AEMC focused on two areas:

  1. Whether NECF is fit for purpose for the traditional sale of energy, particularly regarding digitalisation, information provision and customer engagement, and;
  2. What, if any of the NECF consumer protections should be applied to new energy products and services.

In our response, we provide a number of case studies that demonstrate the ways that NECF can currently hamper or adversely impact traditional retailers ability to offer a positive and consistent customer experience, innovate and move towards digital solutions. This is increasingly relevant as customer uptake of digital services is increasing, and traditional retailers are diversifying, not just in new energy products and services, but in other business models including telecommunications, data, finance and more.

We therefore encourage the AEMC to consider moving NECF away from a prescriptive model and towards outcomes based regulation. This would help remove constricting or outdated requirements that constrain traditional retailers in offering new and innovative developments for customers, while ensuring a level of consistency for the customer experience. We encourage principles that are technology agnostic, scalable and tailorable as the market diversifies and new entrants disrupt traditional models.

You can read our full submission here.