Households and businesses will be better able to respond to rising energy costs and contribute to greenhouse gas reductions through further market reforms that unlock cost-effective demand-side gains and well-targeted actions to improve end-use efficiency.
We can achieve greater system and end-use productivity by building an integrated market framework that better balances supply and demand incentives by: -moving to pricing structures that better reflect time-of-use or peak demand costs and consequently provide incentives for demand reduction and the more efficient use of energy
improving the ability of consumers and market agents to respond to price signals and market opportunities, including through easier market access
reforming network regulations to provide more efficient incentives for demand-side investment as an alternative to more costly network augmentation
driving a faster rollout of enabling technologies such as smart metering, load control and distributed generation and storage.
The Australian Government will work with industry and other groups to facilitate the development and availability of productivity-enhancing energy technology and services, and to address areas of market failure that inhibit efficient end-use energy efficiency.
Obtaining the most efficient, deepest and sustained gains requires an integrated approach to the design and delivery of market and regulatory reform and end-use measures. This can be improved through enhanced coordination of policies and programs and greater collaboration with stakeholders to develop long-term energy productivity gains.
We also need to better understand the drivers of changes in energy use and productivity, and to broaden the range of information available to support informed decisions.
In a period of rising energy prices, actions to improve energy productivity can help consumers manage energy costs. They can also provide important social, economic and environmental benefits, such as improving national productivity, increasing energy security and lowering greenhouse gas abatement costs. While government has an important role in facilitating change, improving energy productivity will ultimately require consumers to take greater responsibility for their own energy-use decisions.
Australia’s energy policy and market frameworks have historically focused on maintaining an adequate and reliable supply of energy. While the demand side has more recently become a point of focus, regulated prices and muted incentives along with other non-price barriers are still preventing the development of market-driven energy management and services opportunities. Consumers also lack efficient price signals and the information and tools to help them make choices about their energy use.
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