Thursday 23 May 2013
08:30 Welcome coffee
08:50 Opening remarks and welcome address from the Chair
09:00 Australia’s energy future under a new federal government
- How we can promote competitive markets in energy retailing
- What needs to be done to ensure efficient national regulation
- Addressing peak demand and the cost pressures it creates
09:20 Power pricing in NSW – the regulatory outlook
- How NSW can develop more effective competition in its energy retail markets?
- What are the constraints on NSW deregulating its prices?
- Smart meters in NSW – how will demand side participation be facilitated?
THE INTERSECTION OF ENERGY AND SOCIAL POLICY – UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING AFFORDABILITY
09:40 The intersection of energy policy, social policy and retail electricity pricing deregulation
- Does price regulation have a role in competitive retail markets?
- Energy usage and market contracts – how are customers better off?
- The role of information in making informed energy contract decisions?
- A roadmap for reform
“Understanding the dynamics of the electricity industry is very important as prices have increased markedly in recent years. Power Pricing 2013 offers delegates the chance to get insights and information that will allow them to better understand trends and potential future scenarios.”
Tim Nelson, Head of Economics, Policy & Sustainability, AGL Energy
10:10 Morning Tea
10:40 Energy regulation - acting in the 'long term interests of consumers'
- Does promoting the 'long term interests of consumers' equate to regulators' pursuit of economic efficiency?
- Do customers see regulators as promoting their long term interests?
- Do competitive markets deliver 'the goods' for consumers?
- Can current regulatory arrangements cope with futures unknown?
“The Power Pricing 2013 conference provides a timely forum discuss the critical issue energy hardship and affordability”
Gavin Duffy, Policy Director, St Vincent De Paul
11:10 Affordability of essential energy - what can be done to assist consumers in need?
Understanding the concerns of consumers and the options there are for assisting them is paramount when considering further reform of the energy market. This experienced group of consumer advocates will dissect the issues and discuss what key reforms we need to deliver. Each of these panelists will give a 10 minute presentation focusing on the key concerns of consumers and our policy options, this will be followed by a highly interactive panel discussion.
- Which groups are suffering most?
- How are they being impacted?
- Are current industry hardship policies adequate?
- Are vulnerable consumers receiving enough assistance from government and consumer groups?
- How can we better structure the shared responsibility approach?
13:10 Network pricing under a revenue cap
- The AER’s shift to a revenue cap and associated changes
- What are the incentives under the new arrangements?
- What approaches may network pricing managers take to maximise profit
- What will be required from the AER to be effective in reviewing cost forecasts, revenue requirements, and tariffs?
- Has the regulatory burden diminished?
- After the changes - will consumers be better off?
WHERE PEAK DEMAND IS HEADING AND THE ROLE OF DEMAND SIDE PARTICIPATION IN CURBING IT
13:40 Reviewing the peak demand problem
- Projecting peak demand to 2020
- What is stimulating peak demand and how elastic are these factors?
- To what degree can we curb peak demand?
- How can we address the peak demand problem?
14:10 The challenges of flexible pricing
- At what cost can smart meters be introduced?
- To what extent can time of use tariffs reduce peak demand?
- How can time of use tariffs best be implemented – will an ‘opt in’ system encourage enough behavioral change?
- What are the key challenges that need to be overcome?
14:45 Smart meters & consumer acceptance
- What role do smart meters need to play in Australia’s energy future?
- How can smart meters help overcome current problems with Australia’s electricity tariff structure?
- What are the implications of a negative perception of smart meters for an effective roll out?
- How this perception can be changed to achieve the best outcome for all
- Does a roll out need to be; mandatory, voluntary or mandatory over time?
15:30 Afternoon Tea
16:00 Small business – the forgotten consumers
- How are rising prices impacting Australia’s SME’s and where can we see this impact?
- What does time of use pricing mean for small business and how quickly can they adapt?
- Is there adequate competition in today’s electricity supply market?
ENERGY EFFICIENCY – UNDERSTANDING THE POTENTIAL AND THE CHALLENGES
16:30 Don't forget consumers: demand-side and affordable energy
- Understanding the demand-side - back to basics
- What impacts have changing demands had on energy prices and energy bills to date?
- What impact could effective demand-side policies have on energy prices?
- What policies are in place and what impact have they had?
- What energy reforms and policies do we need?
17:00 The federal government’s efforts to drive end-use efficiency
- What policies are in place to drive end-use efficiency?
- What level of success has been seen with these efforts?
- To what extent can more efficient use restrain peak demand?
- The energy efficiency outlook and its impact on price pressures
17:30 Closing remarks from the chair
17:40 Close of conference