Proposed rules give energy users the power to fight high prices 18 July 2019

Today the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) released draft rules that would give consumers far more control over power prices.

Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel welcomed the proposed Demand Response Mechanism.

“The Energy Efficiency Council has been fighting for this change for the past decade. It’s great to see that the AEMC has largely agreed with the reforms proposed by a coalition of consumer groups and the South Australian Minister for Energy, Dan van Holst Pellekaan.”

Council Head of Policy Rob Murray-Leach said the proposed rule change will be a win for businesses grappling with skyrocketing electricity bills.

“The change will allow businesses to be paid if they voluntarily reduce electricity use when prices are sky-high. This won’t just save those businesses a lot of money. It will lower bills for everyone by increasing competition in the wholesale market and making it far harder for generators to charge ridiculous prices for electricity,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

“In effect, consumers will be able to set the price of energy. It’s like consumers responding to ‘surge pricing’. We all hate it when Ubers are twice as expensive in a rainstorm. They can get away with it because lots of people are looking for a ride and there are only a few drivers. If a few people delay their trips, it doesn’t just save them money, it brings down prices for everyone by breaking the stranglehold a few providers have on the market. This is the same deal,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

Over the past 17 years, multiple reviews have recommended paying consumers if they’re willing to reduce their demand during periods of high electricity prices. These reviews have all recognised the benefits of putting power back into the hands of households and businesses.

The draft rule change is out for public consultation until 12 September, with a final determination expected by mid November.

Media contact
Rob Murray-Leach
Head of Policy, Energy Efficiency Council
T: 0414 065 556