Victorian Government Interim Response
The interim response announces the immediate steps the Government is taking on key Review recommendations. This includes further analysis of recommendations 1 and 2 on the application and scope of the regulated ‘Basic Service Offer’ and revocation of standing offer contracts, and support of recommendations 3 to 11.
This recognises immediate measures adopted by Victoria’s three largest electricity retailers, AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy, to reduce electricity costs in 2018 for more than 285,000 Victorian residential customers on standing offer contracts.
The Government has also already progressed a number of the Review's 11 recommendations in full or in part. For example, work has begun to promote consumer awareness of the competitive market and the Government’s price comparator website Victorian Energy Compare Victorian Energy Compare. The Government has also committed to rolling out the Home Energy Brokerage Service and the Home Energy Assist program, funding more than 3,300 Victorian homes to become more energy efficient.
The Government acknowledges further analysis on the remaining recommendations and their implementation is required. Consultation with stakeholders will help inform the Government’s final response, which is anticipated to be delivered in mid-2018.
In November 2016, the Victorian Government announced an independent bipartisan review of Victoria's electricity and gas retail markets, to examine the operation of the Victorian electricity and gas retail markets and provide options to improve outcomes for consumers.
The Independent Review panel’s final report was handed down to the Minister on Sunday 13 August 2017. The findings of the independent panel highlight that Victorian consumers are not gaining the benefits of a competitive retail market. The review recommended a suite of reforms and initiatives, with 29 recommendations in total to place the consumers back on a level playing field.
Review of electricity and gas retail markets in Victoria
The independent review panel consisted of John Thwaites, who served as Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 to 2007, Terry Mulder who served as Minister for Public Transport and Roads from 2010 to 2014, and Patricia Faulkner AO, former Secretary of the Victorian Department of Human Services and Director of Consumer Affairs.
The review panel released a discussion paper on some of the key issues and questions concerning the operation of Victoria's electricity and gas retail markets.
24 formal submissions were received to the Discussion Paper. Below is the complete list of submissions received by the secretariat. Submitters have agreed that they are entitled to deal with the intellectual property rights (including copyright) of all material (including any third parties) in their comments and have obtained the necessary consent(s) from any and all third parties owning the copyright for such dealings.
- Alan Pears, Senior Industry Fellow, RMIT University
- Anne Kallies, RMIT University
- Alternative Technology Association
- Australian Dairy Industry Council
- Australian Energy Council
- Australian Gas Networks
- Brotherhood of St Laurence
- Community Information & Support Victoria
- Consumer Action Law Centre
- Consumer Policy Research Centre
- Energy and Water Ombudsman
- Energy Australia
- Energy Consumers Australia
- Environment Victoria
- Jemena, Citipower, Ausnet, United Energy
- Momentum Energy
- Ron Ben-David, Chairperson, Essential Services Commission
- Queensland Consumers Association
- Victorian Council of Social Service
The review commissioned the following reports as part of the investigation into the retail energy market.
Carbon Market Economics
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)