As part of the AEMC’s annual Retail energy competition review, the Commission typically picks a specific technology and explores how it is interacting with retail energy markets. For example, last year’s review explored the interaction of behind the meter battery technology with retail markets. The goals from this analysis are twofold:
- To assess whether energy retailers are innovating in relation to the technology to provide customers with offers they want. Traditionally economists consider that a key benefit of contestable and competitive markets is that they provide incentives for businesses to innovate to provide new or diversified products to meet consumers needs. By picking a prominent new technology and assessing whether this is occurring assists our overarching assessment of the state of competition in the retail energy market.
- To analyse if there are any retail regulatory barriers to innovation occurring. Assessing the barriers is important because as the policy adviser to governments and rule maker in the sector the Commission can then recommend rule changes to remove any barriers.
In the 2020 Retail energy competition review the Commission will explore electric vehicles (EV) as the technology to research. This is an appropriate time to look at EVs because uptake in Australia and around the world is growing rapidly due to declining costs and the introduction of government policies to encourage uptake. Given the potential considerable impact electrification of vehicles could have on the electricity market it is important to assess how retail energy competition is resulting in innovation related to the efficient use and uptake of electric vehicles.
This issues paper has been published to seek stakeholder views to inform this research.