Affordable energy and transition to a decarbonised energy system, in ways that put customers at the centre and leaves no-one behind, have been identified by the Energy Charter as critical ongoing commitments in 2022, following a new report released today.
Energy Charter Full Signatories, made up of 25 energy organisations, including retailers, generators, distribution and transmission businesses, have pledged to work closer together over the next 12 months to focus on these key issues for the benefit of Australian customers and communities.
Following its annual review of Energy Charter signatory disclosures, the Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) released its third annual report today stating:
“The true test of whether Signatories are putting their customers at the centre of their business and the energy system is whether they work together, and with governments and market bodies, to address the clear challenges with ambition and urgency.”
Chair of the Energy Charter CEO Council, Frank Tudor, said 2021 continued to be an extremely challenging year for many energy consumers with the impacts of COVID-19 still being felt across the nation. The unique structure of the Energy Charter allowed organisations from across all areas of the supply chain to collaborate through #BetterTogether initiatives to support customers. This was recognised by the IAP as a critical innovative platform to support customers.
Key achievements through the Energy Charter over the past 12 months have included:
- The $1.5 million commitment of additional support for customers in vulnerable circumstances was guided by evidence drawn from the 12-month COVID-19 Customer Vulnerability Research by Deloitte
- Collaboration with the agricultural sector to co-design the Better Practice Landholder and Community Engagement Guide to assist in on the ground discussions on transmission assets needed for the accelerating transition towards net zero
- Commercial and industrial customers, including small businesses, benefitted from increased transparency, accountability and fit-for-purpose products and services through the National Customer Code for Energy Brokers, Consultants and Retailers with over 40 signatories
- Directors and Boards ensuring that the customer voice was appropriately influencing their strategic decision-making and the direction of energy businesses through options highlighted in the Customer Voice @ Board Level Resource
“The Energy Charter provides an open platform for the energy sector to collaborate on key issues for customers, and there is always more we can do,” Mr Tudor said.
“The Independent Accountability Panel’s message is clear. We need to come together with urgency to better plan the path to meeting customer and community expectations on net zero by 2050. We need ambition to do more to support households and businesses in vulnerable circumstances.
“We thank the Independent Accountability Panel for their report and recommendations. The Energy Charter signatories will continue to collaborate across industry and with customer advocates to deliver on these recommendations over the next 12 months to benefit customers.
“We are also proud to have welcomed four new signatories into the Energy Charter this year and look forward to building on that momentum to see more energy businesses joining in the years ahead, particularly retailers.”
During its review, the Independent Accountability Panel analysed the disclosure reports submitted by Energy Charter signatories, interviewed CEOs and held stakeholder and public forums. Led by Clare Petre as Chair, the IAP includes Cassandra Goldie, CEO Australian Council of Social Service and Andrew Richards, CEO Energy Users Association of Australia.
For more about the Energy Charter and the IAP report, visit theenergycharter.com.au