Market Review: Completed
The final report for this review was submitted to the Standing Council on Energy and Resources (SCER) on 31 March 2014 and published on 10 April 2014. Our recommendations form a first step to establishing a competitive market for services enabled by smart meters. An open access framework provides the ability for service providers to offer new products and services to consumers, which would empower consumers to better manage their electricity consumption.
Our final recommendations were:
1. A ‘shared market protocol’ be adopted, which would define the format of the communications between authorised parties and the parties (‘gate keepers’) who are managing access to a smart meter’s functionality.
2. No regulation of access to smart meter functionality or charges for such access.
3. SCER to direct the AEMC to undertake a competition review of the energy services market three years after the commencement of any rules made under the ‘competition in metering’ rule change request that SCER has submitted to the AEMC.
There are a number of interdependencies between this review and the competition in metering rule change request. SCER’s ongoing considerations on the role of third party energy service providers in the National Electricity Market will also have an impact on our recommendations. The final report includes an implementation plan for our recommendations, which takes into account these interdependencies.
SCER requested the AEMC to provide advice on open access and common communication standards to support contestability in demand side participation end user services enabled by smart meters.
As a part of the broader energy reform package, the SCER has agreed to progress a number of rule change and review proposals recommended by the AEMC in the final report for the Power of Choice review. The recommendations were to facilitate the uptake of efficient demand side participation options in the electricity market.
One of these recommendations from Power of Choice was a review to establish a framework for open access to the smart meter communication network and common smart meter communication standards. This framework would support contestability in demand side participation end user services enabled by smart meters. The terms of reference for this review were received in July 2013. The scope of this review considered:
- whether to adopt common smart meter communication standards and, if so, an appropriate framework for adopting or developing such standards, including consideration of any relevant international developments; and
- the appropriate framework for regulating access to smart meters.
The AEMC established an advisory stakeholder working group that we have been consulting with throughout this review. In accordance with the terms of reference, the members represent government, market bodies, businesses and end use consumers. The list of members, and the papers and presentations for each meeting have been published.
The draft report was published in December 2013 and consultation closed in January 2014 focussing on the communication standard arrangements. A supplementary paper was also published in February 2014 outlining draft findings on the regulatory framework.
A public forum was held in Sydney on 27 February 2014. Presentations were made by the AEMC, Ericsson, Origin, Jemena, SA Power Networks, Landis+Gyr, Simply Energy and the ATA and are available to view below.