Ensuring consumer voices are heard
The Customer Consultative Group (CCG) is a key source of consumer insights and intelligence for the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), and helps to ensure consumers’ voices are heard and considered in our work and decisions.
CCG membership provides participating organisations and individuals with the opportunity to inform the AER about issues that impact the groups they represent. It also provides members with the opportunity to meet with other consumer representatives to discuss key energy consumer issues.
The CCG focuses on issues facing residential and small business energy customers, particularly those related to our functions under the National Energy Retail Law (Retail Law) and National Energy Retail Rules.
The AER has a requirement under rule 172 of the National Energy Retail Rules to establish and maintain a CCG.
How the group works
The CCG meets four times each year. CCG members are required to consult with their constituency outside the meetings and expected to provide advice:
- issues and processes affecting residential and other small energy customers that fall within the scope of the AER’s functions under national energy legislation
- emerging energy issues or energy market developments that may be of concern to particular groups of customers/users
- consumer education and information needs
- strategies and networks to increase consumer awareness of energy issues and enhance communication with consumers and communities
- research to address current gaps in knowledge on consumer issues
- other issues as requested by the AER.
By providing this advice, members assist the AER in carrying out its functions under the national energy legislation.
In September 2021, the AER appointed Elissa Freeman as the first independent Chair of the CCG. In her role as Chair, Elissa supports the CCG to function as an effective consumer consultation body, working in partnership to ensure consumer priorities have a strong voice within the AER.
The CCG has 13 members appointed by the AER. Members have significant consumer expertise and knowledge and extensive experience in representing the views and perspectives of their constituents.
The members appointed to the CCG for 2021–24 are:
- ACT Council of Social Service
- COTA Australia
- Ethnic Communities' Council of NSW
- Financial Counselling Australia
- Financial Rights Legal Centre
- Dr Georgina Davis (individual)
- Mark Henley (individual)
- NSW Business Chamber
- Public Interest Advocacy Centre
- St Vincent de Paul Society
- Tasmanian Council of Social Service
- Tenants’ Union of NSW
- Thriving Communities Partnership
Information about what was discussed at CCG meetings can be found in the CCG Communiqués.
Conflict of Interest
Members of the CCG have been selected because of the experience and the groups they represent. In addition to their role with the CCG, members may also be active in the Australian energy industry and wider community. In performing multiple roles, conflicts of interest may arise.
CCG members must notify the AER of all potential conflicts, which are listed on a public register.
The Conflict of Interest Register will be updated on an ongoing basis, as required.