Consumer matters
Issue date
AER reference
NR 23/16

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has appointed its second Consumer Challenge Panel (CCP), which will provide advice to the AER on whether energy networks’ spending proposals are in the long-term interests of consumers.

“The AER’s Consumer Challenge Panel is an important part of the AER’s regulatory decision-making processes. The panel engages with the energy networks and consumer groups in order to advise the AER on our approach to network decisions,” AER Board Member Jim Cox said.

“CCP members contribute to the debate on network decisions that will have ongoing impact on consumers. They provide advice to the AER on how well the network businesses’ spending proposals reflect the needs of their customers.”

“CCP members have significant expertise in consumer advocacy, energy policy and economic regulation, technical and management skills and legal representation. They will be well placed to provide consumer perspectives that challenge network businesses’ spending proposals and how we approach issues.”

“Around half the cost of a typical household’s electricity bill is due to network charges. The AER’s role is to ensure that consumers pay no more than necessary for a safe and reliable energy supply. The advice from our CCP members will play an important part in this work,” Mr Cox said.

“The AER recognises the importance of considering the views of all stakeholders as part of making our decisions. Our Consumer Challenge Panel is part of our engagement to ensure that the interests of consumers is at the centre of our work.”

New CCP members, appointed for a three-year term:

  • Louise Benjamin
  • Jo De Silva
  • Chris Fitz-Nead
  • Mark Grenning
  • Eric Groom PSM
  • Mark Henley
  • Beverley Hughson
  • Andrew Nance
  • David Prins
  • Robyn Robinson
  • Mike Swanston

About the AER

The Australian Energy Regulator regulates energy markets and networks under national legislation and rules in eastern and southern Australia, as well as networks in the Northern Territory. Its functions include:

  • monitoring wholesale electricity and gas markets to ensure energy businesses comply with the legislation and rules, and taking enforcement action where necessary;
  • setting the amount of revenue that network businesses can recover from customers for using networks (electricity poles and wires and gas pipelines) that transport energy;
  • regulating retail energy markets in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania (electricity only), and the ACT;
  • operating the Energy Made Easy website, which provides a retail price comparator and other information for energy consumers;
  • publishing information on energy markets, including the annual State of the energy market report, to assist participants and the wider community.