Inaugural Panel (2013-16)
The following members were appointed to the inaugural CCP. The members had significant local and international expertise, spanning fields including economic regulation, energy networks and consumer representation.
The inaugural Panel members were:
- Ms Jo De Silva
- Mr Hugh Grant
- Mr David Headberry
- Mr Mark Henley
- Ms Bev Hughson
- Mr Adrian Kemp
- Ms Ruth Lavery
- Mr Bob Lim
- Mr Bruce Mountain
- Dr Gill Owen
- Mr David Prins
- Ms Robyn Robinson
A note expressing the thoughts and sympathies of the AER Board and staff on the passing of Dr Gill Owen is available in our news section. For further information on each member please see the CCP1 Member Biographies:
Conflict of Interest of Inaugural Panel
Members of the inaugural CCP were appointed because of their backgrounds and experience. In addition to their role with the CCP, members were also active in the Australian energy industry and wider community. In performing multiple roles, conflicts of interest inevitably arose.
In order to manage these conflicts, CCP members were to notify the AER of all potential conflicts, which were listed on a public register. The link to the conflict of interest register for the inaugural CCP is below. CCP members were also subject to a conflict of interest guideline which assisted members in managing this issue. In some circumstances, a conflict resulted in members either excluding themselves from certain sub-panels or removing themselves from a project.
Our approach to the CCP has been informed by the experience of regulators in Great Britain and adapted to reflect the Australian context and regulatory framework. Further information on the experience of consumer challenge in Great Britain and its potential role in Australia is available in a paper by Dr Gill Owen commissioned by the AER: The potential role of Consumer Challenge in energy network regulation in Australia.
Additional information is also available in the AER’s March 2013 National Consumer Roundtable presentation on the CCP.
Independent review of Consumer Challenge Panel by Nous Group
The AER commissioned an independent review of its CCP, which it released publicly on 5 May 2016. The review found strong support for the objectives and operation of the CCP from a wide range of stakeholders. The AER welcomed the findings of the report and will be working to implement its recommendations.
The Consumer Challenge Panel played a key role in promoting an independent consumer perspective in energy regulation. The review revealed that this role can be enhanced through process improvements which promote greater consistency, collaboration and clarity of the CCP function.
The AER broadly agreed with the report’s findings and recommendations and will refine the operation of the CCP in accordance with the recommendations. Key recommendations included:
- Introducing processes to increase collaboration and engagement between the AER and CCP. Jointly confirming issues of interest and agreeing on approaches will enhance the value of advice provided to the AER.
- Introducing a more structured and consistent approach to engagement between the CCP and network businesses and consumer groups. This should focus on providing insights of value to the AER decision making process.
- The development of a precedent library to allow the CCP to share knowledge across various topics and resets.