Submission in response to Customer Price Information – Issues Paper
Consumer Action is happy to contribute to the development of materials to improve consumer engagement in the energy market—with the important caveat that we do not believe consumer engagement initiatives alone will solve the problems that plague retail energy in Australia.
Expecting, or requiring, high levels of consumer engagement in a market for a homogenous good with a long history of passive consumption, where consumer’s show little interest in the product and simply want a basic service at a fair price, is a fool’s errand. We prefer policy solutions that are directed to where consumers actually are in their relationship to the market, rather than policy solutions which attempt to engineer engagement through wholesale behavioural change or culture shift—and generally attempt to do so with woefully inadequate resources.
That said, improving the information available to consumers so that those who can or will engage are able to do so more easily does have merit, particularly if accompanied by more fundamental reform which simplifies the market.AER Customer Price Information Issues Paper Submission - Consumer Action