Now, more than ever Australians need power policy certainty. Today’s COAG meeting showed that while state ministers are united on that front – the details will need more work.

Cooperation between all states is critical to the implementation of the final NEG design ahead of its August deadline. We look forward to the outcome of tomorrow’s meeting, and hope that further progress is made to deliver a workable solution that addresses reliability, emissions reductions and affordability.

We welcome the Energy Security Board’s recognition of the role that demand response has to play in driving the transformation of the NEM but stress that the demand side has an increasing ability to firm up reliability.

The ESB has stated that consumers are now better equipped than ever to manage and control their energy use and contribute to reliability and this will only improve in the future. Energy users need to be better connected to the signals of the NEM. This is the way forward for a better energy future.

At Flow Power, we believe that the solutions are customer-centric – whether this means demand response, renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs), behind-the-meter solutions or a range of technologies that are yet to emerge.

The ESB has an opportunity to incentivise the growth of demand response and meet the needs of the market by recognising the businesses that are already responding to market signals. From firming renewable generation to programs similar to the RERT, demand – not supply – is an untapped resource that will prove to be a gamechanger for the Australian power market.

Further to this, we would call on the ESB to consider the value that fixed-rate contract models, backed primarily by vertically integrated retailers, hold. So long as there are profits to be made from generation, Australians will never be connected to the true signals of the market by those who own them. Given that more than half of the NEM’s generation is owned by the top four retailers, the ESB must also take into account the impact of market power.

A NEG that connects customer to generation signals will see a more empowered customer come to the fore to transform Australia’s energy sector through demand response.

See our submission to the ESB here

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