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Energy consumers a step closer to their Consumer Data Right

Energy consumers a step closer to their CDR

The ACCC and the Treasury of the Australian Government release papers on the data access model for the energy sector and what datasets should be made available for the future energy Consumer Data Right (CDR).

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Treasury of the Australian Government (Treasury) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are continuing to progress the design of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) for the energy sector. On 29 August 2019, the ACCC released a position paper on the data access model for the energy sector (along with updates of its work in this space), and Treasury released a consultation paper on what datasets should be made available for, and which entities will be subject to, the future energy CDR.

Following the ACCC’s consultation on data access models in early 2019, the ACCC has chosen the “Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) gateway model”. The ACCC’s reasons are documented in a Position paper: data access model for energy data (PDF 647KB). Under this model, the AEMO will transfer the data (at first, this will be electricity data) that it has received from data holders (i.e. itself, retailers, distributors and metering data providers) to accredited third parties who have been authorised to receive the data from the consumer.

It was no great surprise that the ACCC concluded that the AEMO gateway model will best facilitate the operation of the CDR in the energy sector as it will leverage the AEMO’s existing data sourcing and transfer infrastructure, and it will capture the AEMO’s existing energy data and IT expertise. The ACCC recognises that this gateway model will add overall complexity to the development of CDR rules and data standards to ensure the energy CDR is interoperable with other CDRs to help spawn new and innovative solutions that maximise the value of CDR data. The ‘AEMO centralised model’, where the AEMO would be the sole data holder of CDR data by connecting to data holders via APIs, raised a number of concerns across the sector and received the least support.

Unlike the ‘economy-wide CDR model’ that will apply to the banking sector, where data holders will be responsible for providing the data directly to accredited data recipients and consumers, the model for the energy sector uses the AEMO’s functional capabilities. While data holders and accredited data recipients in the energy sector will still have to develop their own infrastructure and review their protocols to facilitate the implementation of the CDR, the ACCC believes the AEMO’s function will minimise a CDR participant’s build costs and limit considerable change to its data transfer procedures.

Now that there is an understanding of how CDR data will be shared in the energy sector, Treasury is seeking feedback on the scope of the National Electricity Market datasets and the energy market data holding entities that should be subject to a future energy sector CDR. A key focus of this consultation, explored in Treasury’s paper Priority Energy Datasets Consultation (PDF 735KB), is to consider what datasets will be required to support consumer use cases of the CDR. Stakeholders are encouraged to think innovatively, with the underlying objective of the CDR in mind (i.e. to help consumers determine the right energy plan for them), to ensure their ideas are possible with the data that will be made available.

So what's next?

We can expect to see the implementation timetable from the ACCC in late 2019.

The ACCC will, with stakeholder consultations:

  • develop the authorisation and authentication models for the sharing of energy consumer data
  • develop energy sector-specific CDR rules
  • continue to develop the ACCC Register to cater for the AEMO gateway model.

Treasury will consult:

  • until 26 September, on the specific datasets
  • until 26 September, on the data holders that should be subject to the energy CDR
  • on the draft designation instrument.

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