The Energy Security Board (ESB) is consulting stakeholders on a new data strategy for the energy sector. This strategy seeks to ensure that core agencies and policy makers can drive the digital evolution needed to support the energy market transformation; that stakeholders across the sector have the access, data, systems and protections they need; and that most importantly consumers have better outcomes, with reliable, safe and affordable services, and access to data they need to manage them.
Digitalisation and changes in the energy market are driving the need for more flexible and timely access to data. Greater variability, diversity and fragmentation in both supply and demand is increasing the challenge of coordination and managing the market. Data volumes are growing exponentially, creating ongoing challenges for data management. Data privacy, protections and security concerns are also under pressure with growing data volumes and innovation in technologies and services; they must be actively managed and progressed to remain robust.
Ensuring that consumers continue to receive reliable, secure and affordable energy depends on data reform, to provide: greater transparency across the market to support effective competition and protections; more informed planning by many parties to ensure efficient infrastructure and costs; and more responsive and controllable technologies throughout the system to support coordination and optimisation of resources.
Suggested recommendations for reform:
- Requiring retail plans to be transparent and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to report retail margins to keep pressure on efficient prices
- New tracking of contracts and pricing for large energy users (AER)
- Better data and metrics to improve services for vulnerable consumers
- Requiring networks to publish their estimated distributed energy resources (DER) hosting capacity to help inform investments and decisions around DER connection requirements
- Reforming metering data access rights so consumers get better value (as part of the upcoming Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) review of competitive metering)
- Accelerating the availability of data needed to plan for electric vehicles