The Consumer Data Right (‘CDR’), is a right of individuals to access and transfer their own data held by an organisation or business. The CDR is being gradually applied to different industries over time.
First stop was the banking sector (where the right is being slowly implemented), and now it is the turn of the energy and telecommunications sectors.
In this article we set out the basic elements of the CDR as it is proposed to apply in the energy sector. Note that as of May 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Treasury have yet to finalise all elements of the CDR for the energy sector, so aspects of the CDR could change before implementation. We explain:
There are many different people and organizations that hold data in relation to consumer energy use. The energy retailer who sells the energy holds data, but so too do the distributors who carry electricity on their lines and those who install, maintain and read meters. Governmental bodies such as the Australian Energy Market Operator (‘AEMO’) may also hold such data.
Under the proposed model for the energy sector, AEMO will be a ‘gateway’ for the new data right. It will be empowered to gather the data from those who hold the data (‘data holders’), and transfer it to trusted third parties (‘accredited data recipients’ or ‘ADRs’), with the consent of the consumer.
It gives consumers enhanced autonomy and power over their own data. But more significantly, it can help consumers get access to more competitive energy offers. One barrier to competition in the energy sector (and indeed across the Australian economy), is the difficulty in new entrant and smaller businesses, often with innovating offerings, in pricing competitive offers. With the information contained in the CDR data package, these businesses will be better able to make such offers.
At the moment, it is only proposed that the CDR apply to electricity data. In addition, it only applies to data relating to electricity connections to the ‘National Electricity Market’. This means it does not apply to:
We can expect that the CDR will be extended to many of these areas over time.
The types of data that are proposed to be included are:
Originally it was intended that the CDR would come into effect in the energy sector in the first half of 2020, but this has been pushed back and there are currently no definite timelines. As the CDR is still being implemented in the banking sector, it is likely that it will not be introduced into the energy sector until well into 2021.
To read more go to https://treasury.gov.au/consumer-data-right/energy-sector-consumer-data-right.
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