In 2015 UnitingCare Australia released a high level report: “Changing the DNA of network tariff setting in Australia.” The following extract is a summary of the thinking presented:
Existing processes have not always delivered the best outcomes for consumers, notwithstanding considerable improvements. Uniting Communities propose a significant cultural shift from current arrangements for regulatory determination. Under the current model, networks put a price and revenue proposal to the Regulator, and then defend that proposal during the Australian Energy Regulator’s deliberations.

Our key argument for deliberation was for the use of extended processes like citizens juries, where citizens from outside of direct involvement with aspects of energy industry, could be selected to contribute strong consumer perspective to complex issues.

This paper picks up the original concepts of the ‘DNA approach’ and basically asks whether there have been developments over the last two years whereby movement toward agreement between consumer interests and network businesses has emerged utilising processes of deliberation, negotiation. It is not the intent of the paper to analyse in detail or to assess individual network business performance in consumer engagement. Rather Uniting Communities want this report to be more like a ‘mirror’ that reflects some of the better practice observed as a consumer organisation engaged as actively as we can in network regulatory processes. By identifying emerging better practice, we expect this to provide a spur to all network businesses to both seek to apply existing better practice, and to improve upon it.

See the full paper here: LDNA Final May 2018