Power to the people: The new energy scheme that’s just like open banking

Ceyda Erem

Thursday 29 August 2019

To give energy customers more power over their annual bills, a new initiative has been proposed by the Federal Government, which would allow Aussies to demand their usage data from their retailers. 

Similar to open banking, which began on July 1 2019, Aussies would have access to their data, which they could then use to shop around for a better deal or pass on to other retailers in the hope of scoring a more competitive offer. 

It’s also hoped that this move will stimulate more competition in the market and bring down prices. 

"Trying to find a deal that best suits your needs can be challenging with thousands of products on offer across banking, energy and telecommunication services," said federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, in a statement. 

"Australians should be given more power over their own data, instead of being left in the dark by banks and energy providers."

The Gateway Model

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has selected a ‘gateway model’ as the preferred way for customers to access their data. With this model, the AEMO provides data on a customer’s current electricity agreement from their current retailer to a trusted third party, so long as the customer allows it. 

“The gateway model best balances functionality, cost effectiveness, flexibility and security while also leveraging AEMO’s data and IT expertise. It allows AEMO to facilitate the rollout of the CDR to the energy sector, helping to reduce implementation costs particularly for smaller energy retailers,” said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Commissioner, Sarah Court. 

The ACCC is now in the process of developing rules around data authorisation and authentication. 

Taking the power back one initiative at a time 

And while a more open energy market could spell good news for Aussies trying to lower their bills, it’s not the only move that’s been made. 

Earlier this month, Mozo reported on a new proposal that would give Aussies the freedom to earn a profit from their positive energy habits. 

Under the ‘wholesale demand response’, Aussies would be rewarded with either cash or a credit that can be put toward their annual bills, just for cutting back on their energy usage. 

And more recently, energy giant Energy Australia launched its ‘PowerResponse’ scheme, where similarly to the wholesale demand response, customers would earn credits if they manage to reduce their household energy consumption by more than 20% when asked to do so. 

Customers wanting to participate will need to register and provide their mobile numbers, so they are notified when it’s time to reduce their usage, which could be anywhere between 1 - 4 hours. 

So if you’re keen to get a jump start on switching energy plans, our energy comparison tool can help you compare current offers in your area.

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