Legislative Council: Wednesday, September 28, 2022


National Electricity Law (South Australia) (Consumer Data Right) Amendment Bill

Introduction and First Reading

Received from the House of Assembly and read a first time.

Second Reading

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (18:15): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading explanation and explanation of clauses inserted in Hansard without my reading them.

Leave granted.

The energy sector is constantly evolving, including the range of energy products and services available to consumers. This range includes products and services such as solar PV panels and battery storage, energy efficiency audits and electricity plans.

In order for consumers to maximise the benefit they receive from the market, it is important that they have the necessary access to their information so they can easily compare these products and services.

In some cases, consumers may wish to have their information provided to a trusted third party to undertake such comparison for them. Consumers should be confident that this can be done in a safe and secure manner.

In 2017, the Commonwealth Government announced the introduction of a Consumer Data Right regime in Australia, initially in the banking, energy, and telecommunications sectors. This was in response to several government reviews which recommended that Australia develop rights for consumers to access and transfer their information in a usable format.

In 2019 the Commonwealth implemented the Consumer Data Right through changes to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (Competition and Consumer Act). Under the Act, the Commonwealth Treasurer has the power to designate sectors and datasets under the Consumer Data Right.

The Consumer Data Right provides residential and small business consumers with the right to efficiently and conveniently access specified data about them held by businesses. It also authorises the secure disclosure of that data to accredited data recipients on their behalf.

Accredited data recipients are businesses that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accredited to receive a consumer's data from a data holder – only after the consumer has given their consent.

In 2020, the Commonwealth Treasurer made the energy sector designation instrument, specifying the data sets and energy data holders to which the Consumer Data Right applies.

The Consumer Data Right Energy data includes data such as generic and tailored tariff data, Distributed Energy Resource Register data (including details on batteries and solar panel installations), billing data, customer provided data and metering data.

In the energy sector, the Consumer Data Right will enable consumers to access a broad range of their energy data and authorise accredited data recipients to access this data on their behalf.

By giving consumers more control over their data and allowing them to share it with accredited data recipients, the Consumer Data Right for energy will allow them to identify better deals on energy products and services.

Energy retailers are the primary energy data holders for the Consumer Data Right for Energy. The Australia Energy Market Operator is the secondary energy data holder.

In 2021, the Commonwealth implemented the Consumer Data Right for Energy through amendments to the Consumer Data Right Rules, made under the Competition and Consumer Act. This included establishing a peer-to-peer data sharing model for the energy sector.

Under the peer-to-peer model, a consumer can direct a data holder to provide their Consumer Data Right Energy data to an accredited data recipient, in a compliant format.

Energy retailers, as primary data holders, are responsible for disclosing all requested Consumer Data Right data to the accredited data recipient. This means that where a retailer receives a Consumer Data Right request that captures data held by the Australian Energy Market Operator (being the secondary data holder), the retailer must request the data from the market operator.

When an accredited data recipient receives a consumer's Consumer Data Right energy data, they will use it for the purpose that the consumer has requested. These purposes may include tariff comparison, energy efficiency audits and sizing of PV and battery storage.

As access to energy data has traditionally been governed under the National Electricity Law and the National Electricity Rules, Energy Ministers have agreed on amendments to this framework to support implementation of the Consumer Data Right for Energy.

The National Electricity Law (South Australia) (Consumer Data Right) Amendment Bill 2022 I present to you today, seeks to implement these amendments, by making changes to the National Electricity Law to:

add Consumer Data Right functions to the Australian Energy Market Operator's statutory functions, allowing it to perform these functions and to recover the costs of its Consumer Data Right obligations from energy market participants through participant fees.

allow South Australia's Energy Minister, using the minister-initiated rules power, to make the National Electricity Rules amendments. This will ensure consistency between the Consumer Data Right Rules and the National Electricity Rules, removing barriers to the smooth functioning of the Consumer Data Right for Energy, and will ensure data can be provided (as per Consumer Data Right requirements) without breaching the National Electricity Rules.

give the Australian Energy Market Commission, as rule maker under the national energy laws, the head of power to amend the National Electricity Rules for any future changes required.

I commend the bill to the Chamber.

Explanation of Clauses

Part 1—Preliminary

1—Short title


3—Amendment provision

These clauses are formal.

Part 2—Amendment of National Electricity Law

4—Amendment of section 2—Definitions

Certain definitions are inserted for the purposes of the measure.

5—Amendment of section 49—AEMO's statutory functions

Provision is made conferring any functions of a data holder under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 of the Commonwealth for CDR data relating to a designated energy sector on AEMO. The other amendment is technical.

6—Insertion of section 90AB

New section 90AB is proposed to be inserted:

90AB—South Australian Minister to make initial Rules relating to consumer data right and further Rules relating to disclosure of data

The South Australian Minister is authorised to make the initial Rules relating to consumer data right and further Rules relating to the disclosure of data.

7—Amendment of Schedule 1—Subject matter for the National Electricity Rules

An additional subject matter on which National Electricity Rules may be made is inserted into Schedule 1 of the Law.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. L.A. Curran.

At 18:16 the council adjourned until Tuesday 18 October 2022 at 14:15.