The National Energy Retail Rules (Retail Rules) require that retailers provide electricity consumption benchmarks on a residential customer’s bill. The purpose of the benchmark is to allow customers to compare their household electricity usage with similar households in their area. This in turn assists consumers to make more informed choices about how they use energy.
Under Rule 169 of the Retail Rules the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is required to update the electricity consumption benchmarks at least every three years from the publication of the previous benchmarks.
The initial benchmarks were developed by the Consumer Information Implementation Committee (CIIC) and the AER provided these to retailers in December 2011.
In 2014 the AER commissioned ACIL Allen to update the benchmarks.
Published below are:
- ACIL Allen's October 2014 report Electricity bill benchmarks for residential customers
- The electricity bill benchmarks developed by ACIL Allen for each state and territory (excluding Western Australia). This contains seasonal electricity consumption benchmarks for one to five-person households for each local zone.
- The updated list of postcodes and localised zones
The AER has also updated its document Guidance on electricity consumption benchmarks on residential customers’ bills. The guidance aims to assist energy retailers in complying with their obligations regarding the electricity consumption benchmarks. It does not include additional requirements but provides the AER’s view on how compliance with the electricity consumption benchmarks obligations could be met.
The Guidance was initially developed in consultation with various stakeholders including energy retailers, the Energy Retailers Association of Australia (ERAA) the Consumer Information and Implementation Committee (CIIC), the AER’s Customer Consultative Group (CCG) and the Joint Implementation Group (JIG).
In March 2015, some of the attached documents were updated.
- A new version of the ACIL Allen report was revised by ACIL to explain why a number of Victorian postcodes in Climate Zone 4 have been reallocated to Climate Zones 5 and 6.
- The Victorian Electricity benchmarks spreadsheet was updated to include benchmarks for Victorian postcodes allocated to Climate Zone 5.
- The List of Zones and Postcodes was updated to:
- allocate postcodes that overlapped more than one climate or local zone to a single zone. This change simplifies the process of retailers determining which zone a customer belongs to.
- include Victorian postcodes in Climate Zone 7, which were omitted from the original dataset
- reallocate Victorian postcodes in Climate Zone 4 to Zone 5 or 6, depending on which has the most similar climate.
- The SA benchmarks spreadsheet was updated to remove the ‘Central West’ zone, which was included in error.
In May 2015, the List of Zones and Postcodes was further updated to incorporate a small number of postcodes that were omitted from the original report.