mark henley - uniting care australia - unpacking the language and practice of consumer engagement

Download Mark Henley - Uniting Care Australia - Unpacking the language and practice of consumer engagement

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Mark Henley delivered the presentation at the 2014 Collections and Hardship Programs in Utilities, Banks and Telecommunications Conference. The 2014 Collections and Hardship Programs in Utilities, Banks and Telecommunications Conference explored ways to manage the complex issues with recovering debt in utilities, telecommunications and financial sectors. For more information about the event, please visit: 14


  • Collec&ons and Hardship Forum Consumer Engagement (Focus Energy Industry) Mark Henley Ph 0404 067 011
  • Context
  • Whats the Issue?
  • 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Index199091=100 Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Hobart Canberra Retail Electricity Price Index, 1991-2010
  • U&li&es Costs, SA 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 Index CPI Electricity CPI Gas CPI Water CPI All Groups
  • Energy Australia, by income decile 0.0% 2.0% 4.0% 6.0% 8.0% 10.0% 12.0% 14.0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • Housing + Energy, Aust, Income decile 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • Financial Stress, 0 5 10 15 20 25 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 % Unable to pay electricity, gas, phone on &me, by income quin&le, 2002, 2006, 2010. Australia. GSS 2002 2006 2010
  • Why Consumer Engagement?
  • Later 2012, Na.onal Ac.vity Many Processes, many submissions, liTle sleep: Energy White Paper Produc.vity Commission AEMC Rule change re Network Regula.on Senate Inquiry Review of Limited Merits Review Power of Choice COAG statement Na.onal energy consumer advocacy body Energy Eciency programs (not Greenstart), HESS, LIEEP, etc. Maybe NESI
  • For Example the overarching objec0ves of the regulatory regime is the long term interests of customers. This objec0ve has lost its primacy as the main considera0on for regulatory & policy decisions. Its pre- eminence should be restored by giving consumers much more power in the regulatory process (p 2) Produc0vity Commission
  • Key Themes Greater Consumer Engagement needed in regula&on Aspects of Market not working in best long term interests of consumers Major focus on Network regula&on New Rules AER to use its powers more eec&vely Merits Review process needs change
  • So What is Consumer Engagement? From Community Development Community engagement is people working collabora0vely, through inspired ac0on and learning, to create and realize bold visions for their common future. (Tamarack, 2003) Community engagement refers to arrangements for ci0zens and communi0es to par0cipate in the processes used to make good policy and to deliver on programs and services. (Queensland Government)
  • Economics Consumer Sovereignty Consumers inuence the produc0on decisions of (ecient) rms by vo0ng with their spending. So consumer engagement here means that individual consumers know what they want, are fully informed about market choices, and are able to get what they want by ac0vely engaging in the market through their spending decisions.
  • From Law Advocacy is the act of speaking on the behalf of or in support of another person, place, or thing. Advocacy and Consumer Engagement tend to be linked in Energy Advocacy (and Other) debates.
  • Public Par&cipa&on public par0cipa0on is a process to make beQer decisions that incorporate the interests and concerns of all aected stakeholders and meet the needs of the decision-making body.
  • Think about these 5 aspects Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower
  • Synonyms Partnership Collabora&on Mutuality Empowerment Interdependence Consumer Engagement is TWO-WAY, between EQUALS
  • Benets of Energy Consumer Engagement Informed consumers; this is an condi.on for eec.vely markets. Conict resolu.on; between consumers and energy companies Drivers of market eciency. Specically, the Panel considers that a greater focus on the long-term interest of consumers opens up greater for the development of stronger incen.ves for NSPs to be dynamically ecient. (Limited Merits Review) regulatory requirements; Promote consumer welfare;
  • Nature of Consumer Engagement Heterogeneous: (Not all consumers are the same or think the same) Not everything will work Messy: dierent views and complex issues means it will get Messy Trust Building (where this is goodwill) Mul.-layered
  • Energy Consumer Engagement Hierarchy
  • Whats needed to make Consumer Engagement work? Goodwill on both sides Small steps rst, build trust Learn as we go Learning about each other Making mistakes Consumer Engagement into every aspect of business Consumer resourcing
  • Whats needed to make Consumer Engagement work? TRUST, TRUST, TRUST