The AER has today released its Assessment of the Consumer reference group.
The AER has increased its focus on consumer engagement. We are doing this through a range of initiatives as we consider it is important to seek out views and obtain input from consumers into AER processes. The Consumer reference group (CRG) set a new benchmark in our approach to consumer engagement.
In 2012, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) changed the rules governing how we determine the total amount of revenue each electricity and gas network business can earn. We initiated the Better Regulation program to update and improve our processes under these new rules.
The CRG was set up to facilitate consumer input into the Better regulation program. It brought together a panel of 21 members representing various consumer interests on a regular basis during the Better regulation program.
The purpose of the Assessment of the Consumer reference group was to evaluate the CRG’s operation against its intended purpose and identify insights which could be applied in future regulatory process.
Most CRG members provided feedback. Overwhelmingly, members commented that the CRG made the Better regulation program more accessible to consumer groups. CRG members highlighted CRG initiatives which they would like to see the AER replicate in future processes and noted areas that the AER can improve.
The CRG and this assessment demonstrate our commitment to communicate in a timely and clear way, and to be accessible and inclusive, transparent and measurable in our engagement activities.
We encourage consumers and businesses to participate in our future regulatory processes.