Digitalisation and data are critical foundations to the energy transition. Coordinating a secure and affordable energy system of diverse renewable and distributed technologies, with consumer services at the centre, is achievable - but depends on the opportunities that digital technologies and data bring.
The ESB Strategy plays a critical role, integrated with the broader energy reform program. It provides overarching consideration of the energy sector’s existing and future data needs, supporting the needs of consumers, industry and policy makers in the energy transition
The Data Strategy responds to an urgent need for energy-sector data reform to enable benefits to be realised for consumers as the sector transitions.
- Data and digitalisation provide unprecedented opportunities to transform the sector into a smarter, more flexible and affordable system which is responsive to consumer needs.
- But existing regulation and capabilities have not kept pace with the digital transition. Decision makers across the sector need better access to data – enabling improved outcomes for consumers in the form of reduced costs and fit for purpose customer protections. Changes are needed to enable accessing and sharing of data to support efficient decision making.
- Emerging technologies and services increasingly depend on better use of data and digitalisation to be affordable, reliable and sustainable. Unlocking access to data is critical to improve consumer outcomes through more efficient planning, lower costs, reduced consumer risks and innovation.
The Strategy provides a necessary coordinated sector-wide approach which supports Post 2025 market reforms.
- Economy-wide digitalisation and national data reforms create significant opportunities for energy and energy data capabilities are growing rapidly across the sector.
- But despite this progress, existing markets and governance are not resolving identified needs, due to a range of regulatory barriers, market failures and coordination challenges.
- As the digital and energy transition continues, new technology and data needs will continue to emerge. New arrangements are needed to identify emerging gaps, risks and opportunities for customers and decision makers. Reforms to regulatory frameworks are needed to put in place adaptive principles-based approaches that support data sharing and enable flexibility to meet changing consumer needs.
The Data Strategy recommendations were released 27 July 2021, along with the ESB’s Post 2025 Market Design Jurisdictions agreed to support implementation of the Strategy on 3 December 2021.
The ESB Data Strategy objectives are to:
- Manage changing data needs in the energy transition, and
- Optimise the long-term interests of energy consumers in a digitalised economy.
The Data Strategy has also agreed New Energy Data Principles, to guide and align reforms and decision maker. These principles seek to support a paradigm shift in energy data policy, towards more open and transparent data to inform decision makers. These principles state that:
Frameworks governing management and use of data across the energy sector should:
- Drive outcomes consistent with the energy market objectives and the long-term interest of consumers
- Ensure appropriate privacy and security safeguards are maintained
- Capture benefits of a transparent, innovative and informed digitalised energy market
- Be fit-for-purpose, flexible and cost-effective for a digitalised market
- Be coherent with wider national reforms on data
The data strategy implementation focuses on two critical workstreams:
- Energy data access & sharing – to reduce barriers to data access to inform policy, planning and research
- Priority data gaps: DER – designs options to address emerging data needs for DER in the transition
Energy Data Access & Sharing:
Workstreams have been well progressed during 2022-23 and will work together to facilitate better access by the end of 2023.
- Initial reforms: legislative reforms have been agreed to support greater sharing of priority data, allowing AEMO to effectively share data with trusted bodies for policy, planning and research.
- Data Services: The ESB has consulted on and recommended arrangements for a new Data Services Unit to grow necessary capability, resources and processes needed to safely facilitate greater access and sharing of data.
- Common Guidelines: The ESB is working with AEMO to develop new guidelines and model data sharing agreements to streamline common data sharing, including through the new Data Services Unit, network-based research, and consumer research.
- New Energy Data Framework: The ESB has recommended that once Initial Reforms are in place, officials review the need for wider data reforms before 2026. The Data Strategy proposed that a longer-term fit-for-purpose regulatory framework may be needed further support agreed Energy Data Principles and provide ongoing flexible management of emerging data needs and capabilities.
Priority data projects:
Three workstreams to address priority data gaps have been well progressed, focusing on data needs to support effective DER planning and consumer protections.
- Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment visibility: The ESB has recommended new processes to capture data on installation of EV chargers, to support effective planning and management of growing EV electricity demand. AEMO will propose Rule changes and work with officials on supporting arrangements.
- Network visibility for market planning: The ESB released a consultation paper proposing requirements for network data to inform the market in optimising benefits from DER and network assets for all customers. The AER will consider stakeholder input and undertake trials to inform options to deliver the data.
- Billing transparency: The ESB released a consultation paper on options to support better consumer outcomes and protections through more effective information on 'what consumers pay' and how they are impacted by services in the market transition. AEMC will consider stakeholder input on recommendations for a detailed design.
Further priority projects will be progressed in 2023/24:
- Overvoltage impacts: The AER will develop methodologies to estimate the benefits of addressing over-voltage in local networks, to support more efficient assessment of network monitoring systems.
- Consumer metrics: Officials and the AER will work together to identify metrics needed to understand changing consumer impacts and behaviours in the market transition and consider research arrangements to deliver them.
The Data Strategy was developed over 2020/2021. Supporting work included:
- Review of energy data frameworks and international case studies in data reform
- Consultation on an ESB Data Strategy Options paper.
The ESB has agreed and released the proposed National Energy Laws Amendment (Data Access) Bill 2023. These reforms were recommended in the Data Strategy to unlock benefits for consumers from data in the near-term, through better planning, policy and research.
They focus on reducing regulatory barriers to effective use of data held by market bodies and supporting greater safe, timely and appropriate access for public-good benefits. Specifically, they allow AEMO to share data safely with trusted bodies and clarify supporting arrangements and protections. AEMO-held datasets, such as metering and Distributed Energy Resources data, are the focus of these reforms as they are increasingly critical in understanding consumers changing needs and behaviours as the market transitions to new technologies.
The policy positions in these amendments were agreed by Energy Ministers in December 2022.
Ministers will now consider the final proposed National Energy Laws Amendment (Data Access) Bill 2023.
These reforms were originally identified and consulted on in the 'Review of energy data frameworks and international cases studies in data reform (2020)'.
After agreement through the Data Strategy in 2021, ESB developed and consulted on policy positions in mid-2022 and then draft legislation in April 2023.
- Proposed legislative amendments - Stakeholder update
- Initial Reforms - National Energy Laws Amendment (Data Access) Bill 2023 (June 2023)
- Initial Reforms – Final policy positions (June 2023)
- Initial Reforms – Draft Legislation Consultation Paper (Apr 2023)
- Initial Reforms – Draft Bill (Apr 2023)
- Initial Reforms – Consultation paper (Jul 2022)
- Data Strategy Initial reforms – Stakeholder Webinar (27 Jul 2022)
The ESB received five stakeholder submissions in response to its Initial Reforms – Draft Legislation Consultation Paper. All public submissions are available below:
|Australian Energy Council
|Public Interest Advocacy Centre
The ESB received 23 stakeholder submissions in response to its Data Strategy Initial Reforms consultation paper, including three informal or confidential submissionss. All public submissions are available below:
ESB has considered stakeholder input on its consultation paper on options for new Data Service Delivery Model, and has undertaken further design work engaging with jurisdictions.
ESB has supported the preferred model in the consultation paper, recommending a new Data Service Unit within AEMO in the short term. This new unit will build data expertise and facilitate data services in response to stakeholder needs, with robust, safe data sharing practices, supporting greater access to a wide range of analytics and publicly released data.
ESB has recommended that AEMO also facilitate a supporting Stakeholder Advisory Group, to ensure data services remain focused on stakeholder needs and a clear consumer benefits objective. As technologies and the energy market continue to change, the Stakeholder Advisory Group will support advice and early action on emerging data needs.
AEMO is working with officials to agree an implementation approach, with the aim to have some early services in place with the legislative amendments by the end of 2023.
The ESB received 12 stakeholder submissions in response to its Data Services Delivery Model Consultation Paper, including one informal or confidential submission. All public submissions are available below:
|Public Interest Advocacy Centre
|Australian Energy Council
|SA Council of Social Service
- Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Standing Data - Consultation Outcomes Report
- Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Standing Data - Consultation Paper
- Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Standing Data – Webinar slides
The ESB consulted on the rationale and options for capturing ‘standing data’ for new EVSE installations in December 2022.
The ESB considered stakeholder views and agreed a response, supporting recommendations for:
- AEMO to propose a Rule change to expand current arrangements for the Distributed Energy Resources Register (DERR) to include EVSE. This aligns with similar arrangements for solar installations and would require networks to register new EVSE installations, working with installers.
- AEMO to pursue supporting measures, including a review of DERR arrangements and development of a product list.
- Propose longer-term measures to officials to consider frameworks for EVSE installers, as part of wider work on CER technical standards and compliance.
The ESB received 16 stakeholder submissions in response to its Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Standing Data Consultation Paper. All public submissions are available below:
The ESB identified as greater access to data on the performance of low-voltage (LV) networks as a priority data gap. Access to this data is particularly useful to decision makers seeking to optimise benefits for consumers from Consumer Energy Resources (CER), such as CER investors, planners and policy makers.
This consultation paper seeks stakeholder views on the value of making specific network-related data sets available to market and policy makers, making CER planning decisions and managing network-related risks. ESB has developed this paper working with stakeholders through a range of workshops to identify use cases, datasets and a range of challenges to deliver the data.
This paper covers only Phase 1 of the Network Visibility project, which has three phases:
- Phase 1: Define use cases and required data sets
- Phase 2: Test proposed data sets through real-world trials.
- Phase 3: Propose a pathway for ongoing delivery
This work will be taken forward by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). From 1 July 2023, the AER is the key point of contact for interested parties and stakeholders to engage with.
Submissions on the paper are due by Friday 1 September 2023 via email to NetworkVisibility@aer.gov.au
The ESB Data Strategy identified that it is increasingly important to understand what drives consumer behaviour, what consumers pay for electricity, and how different services impact bills and choices. This is a high priority gap in energy information required for government policy makers, regulators and market bodies, to inform decision making to support better consumer outcomes.
The ESB has considered and consulted on the current approach to collection and use of billing data, as well as potential alternative approaches that could improve transparency of electricity billing data.
This consultation paper presents the findings to date and seeks stakeholder views on:
- The need for government decision makers to have greater access to electricity billing data,
- What data would be required, and
- Options to gather the data more efficiently and effectively.
This work will be taken forward by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC). From 1 July 2023, the AEMC is the key point of contact for interested parties and stakeholders to engage with.
Submissions on the paper are due by Friday 1 September 2023 via the AEMC website.