Assessing competition in the NSW retail electricity and gas markets

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking feedback on its approach to monitoring the performance and competitiveness of the NSW retail electricity and gas markets.

IPART reports annually on the prices and products available for electricity and gas consumers in NSW.

IPART Chair Dr Peter Boxall said that the 2018 report would be the first since gas prices were also deregulated.

“While the retail electricity and gas markets in NSW are fully contestable, we maintain a role in reporting annually to the Government on whether competition is delivering the intended benefits,” Dr Boxall said.

“Our 2017 retail electricity market review found that competition continued to develop and many customers were benefiting from an increased number of retailers and product and price offerings. However, we also found that retailers, third parties, and governments could take further measures to improve customer engagement.

“With increased innovation in products and services, such as integrated solar PV and battery storage plans, we are interested in assessing how these emerging technologies contribute to customers’ ability to make informed decisions about their energy usage and participation in the market.”

IPART’s current approach assesses competition by examining customer participation and outcomes, price movements, product and price diversity, and barriers to entry.

The Government has also asked IPART to investigate retailers’ metering practices, and whether price changes in 2018 reflect efficient costs in a competitive market.

“The Government is concerned about reports of delays and poor customer service in relation to metering services provided by retailers. We would like to hear about people’s experiences with applying to have a digital meter installed, upgraded or replaced,” said Dr Boxall.

Submissions on our competition and metering reviews are due by 29 June 2018, with a Draft Report, on which we will seek further feedback, scheduled for release in September 2018. Information papers are available on IPART’s website along with information about how to make submissions.