Market Review: Completed


On 28 June 2019, the AEMC completed the sixth annual review of retail energy competition in the national electricity market (NEM).
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On 28 June 2019, the AEMC completed the sixth annual review of retail energy competition in the national electricity market (NEM). The review focuses on small customers in retail energy markets, which includes residential and small business consumers. For the first time this year we are providing a microsite that contains all the details and information that sits behind the report. It can be found at here

This report looks at:

  • the state of retail competition 
  • outcomes for residential and small business consumers
  • what needs to happen to enhance and improve outcomes in the future.

To assess the effectiveness of retail competition, the review employs a structure-conduct-performance framework. This framework uses a range of metrics to assess how the structure of the market influences the conduct of the participants and the outcomes that customers and participants achieve from the market.

The report also contains three research studies:

  • how retail competition influences innovation relating to behind the meter battery technology
  • how retailers support customers facing payment difficulties
  • a mapping exercise of consumer protections under the NECF and the ACL.

In summary, the report has found that:

  • the market continues to become more competitive, with new retailers entering the market, elevated switching levels and decreases in market concentration 
  • consumer satisfaction and confidence in the energy market improved from the low levels reported in the 2018 Review 
  • prices generally fell by small amounts over the past year, and there was an increase in simple and stable pricing structures.

A guide to this report

In this year's review we have changed the publication approach to include information that is specific to individual jurisdictions on the microsite and not in the Final report. In addition, within the microsite the Commission has added a data portal. This allows stakeholders to access the data that the Commission has used to conduct its analysis.

The Commission has provided various formats and levels of summaries for the different audiences that engage with this review. The formats and their target audience are: 

  • Communications materials and microsite, including:
    • Jurisdictional summaries: for stakeholders interested in a snapshot of outcomes in each jurisdiction.
    • Summaries of each research piece: for stakeholders interested in a summary of each research study. 
    • Data portal: for stakeholders seeking to access the data behind the report.
  • This final report, including:
    • Executive summary: for stakeholders interested in reading a short document to understand the report, including context and analysis, snapshots of each research study and the Commission's retail market priorities for 2019.
    • Summary of key statistics: for stakeholders wanting a snapshot of key market statistics.
    • Summary of recommendations: for stakeholders wanting to know the Commission's recommended actions in the coming year. 
  • Full report: for those wanting the Commission's in-depth analysis. 

Note of clarification: The final report contains statements on pages 181 and 183 that the consumer guarantees in the Australian Consumer Law do not apply to the supply of electricity and gas. These statements may currently be inaccurate as section 65 of the Australian Consumer Law states that the consumer guarantees will not apply if the supply of gas or electricity is of a kind specified in the Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010 (Regulations). As at the date of this note, no such provisions are contained in the Regulations and, as such, the consumer guarantees do apply to gas and electricity. Please consult the Regulations to determine whether consumer guarantees continue to apply to the supply of electricity or gas.

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