Australia is yet to implement its open banking rules, but the regulator of the ‘Consumer Data Right’ has already begun work on expanding the regime to cover the energy sector.
The government in late 2017 committed to legislating the CDR. The new rules will be rolled out to select industries, giving consumers the right to access data relating to their use of a service and also the ability to request that data be passed, in a machine-readable format, to an accredited third-party (a rival service provider or someone that runs a comparison service, for example).
The ACCC has been tasked with working out how the CDR will apply to different areas of the economy. Work is already underway on developing APIs that will implement the first wave of open banking reforms.
The energy and telecommunications sectors will also be covered by the CDR.
The ACCC is currently studying how the CDR will be implemented in the energy sector. There are already arrangements that allow consumers to get access to a range of their data related to energy consumption. As a result, the ACCC is focusing on developing an access model that will allow other relevant data to be passed on to an accredited data recipient.
One model would see the Australian Energy Market Operator hold all CDR data and be tasked with handing it over to recipients. A second would be an AEMO-run gateway that provides a central point allowing access to data to be requested. The third would be similar to the open banking rules and have individual data holders (such as energy retailers) be responsible for providing access to the data they possess.
“We’re looking forward to progressing the next phase of the Consumer Data Right, as it has the potential to greatly assist consumers who we know struggle to find the best offers in the energy market,” ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said in a statement.
“Improving access to their energy data will help consumers find cheaper services and will promote transparency and innovation.”
“Deciding on the appropriate data access model in energy is the first step in offering certainty to energy sector participants as they continue plan for the start of the CDR regime and develop new and innovative products that rely on reliable and secure sources of consumer data,” Court said.
The ACCC will accept submissions on an issues paper it has released until 22 March.