The WA IPA has lobbied for the following pending electricity market reforms to increase competition and customer choice:

 

IPA policy position

The electricity market should be opened to Full Retail Contestability (FRC).

Outcome/current position

The State Government says Western Australians should be able to buy electricity for their home from suppliers other than Synergy by 2019.

In September 2016 the Energy Minister, Mike Nahan, said he would ensure FRC occurs by mid 2019 – irrespective of whether cost reflective pricing has been achieved.


IPA policy position

Price of electricity should reflect cost of production and supply.

Outcome/current position

The Liberal-National Government made a commitment to cost reflective pricing in March 2015 and this position was reaffirmed by the Labor Government in September 2017. 


IPA policy position

A separate decision-making body for Market Rules should be established, with independent representation. This will remove any perceived conflict of interest in rulemaking. Currently the body that operates the market also makes the rules.

Outcome/current position

A new independent rule-making body is being established under the management of the ERA. This is due to come into operation in 2017.


IPA policy position

Synergy’s generation fleet should be made to bid by facilities rather than as one portfolio. This would enable government owned plant that is inefficient to be identified.

Outcome/current position

The Minister for Energy, Mike Nahan, announced in July 2016 that Synergy’s power stations will be obliged to bid as separate facilities from July 2018. 


IPA policy position

A constrained access model for networks should be adopted that allows a level playing field for all power producers (government and privately owned) to make decisions about when and where they add additional loads and generators to the system. The current system, under which private operators must apply to Western Power to add capacity at a location is very lengthy, bureaucratic and costly. Synergy doesn’t require such approval from Western Power for its power stations.

Outcome/current position

The Minister for Energy, Ben Wyatt, announced in August 2017 legislation would be introduced in mid-2018 to transition to a constrained access model, regulated by the WA Economic Regulation Authority.