AGL is committed to providing policy makers with the best available information to help them understand the full implications (both positive and negative) of current and proposed government policies, and to develop sensible policy responses.
As a supplier of an essential service to over 3.6 million customer accounts, we believe we have a responsibility to engage with governments at all levels in relation to energy and related policies. In a highly regulated industry such as the energy industry, government decisions have a significant influence on the way we source, produce and price energy and energy-related products, and the way in which we interact with and support our customers.
We have regular dialogue with relevant federal, state and local governments in relation to a range of policy issues, including with Members of Parliament whose electorates include our projects. Our dialogue with governments occurs through face-to-face and telephone meetings, written policy submissions (both directly and via industry associations), attendance at events, and the provision of briefings.
It is important to our stakeholders that our involvement in public policy development is undertaken transparently and consistently. Our submissions to government processes and research undertaken by our economists are published on the AGL Blog.
The key issues that were the focus of our engagement with government and policy makers during FY17 comprised:
- supporting investment certainty in a carbon constrained future;
- supporting the integration of increasing levels of variable renewable generation;
- transition to a more decentralized energy system; and
- energy affordability.
In the course of FY17, we prepared a range of submissions to government and energy industry bodies across several state and Commonwealth jurisdictions.
AGL economists also published a range of peer-reviewed research papers, including:
- The Changing Nature of the Australian Electricity Industry (Article published in Economic Papers);
- Price discrimination in Australia's retail electricity markets: An analysis of Victoria and southeast Queensland (Article published in Energy Economics);
- Reducing the horizons of uncertainty: Setting Australia’s post-2030 emission goal;
- Access rights and consumer protections in a distributed energy system (published in the book Innovation and Disruption at the Grid’s Edge);
- Electricity market design in a decarbonised energy system (under review);
- Price dispersion in Australian retail electricity markets (under review);
- Redesigning a 20th century regulatory framework to deliver 21st century energy technology
We are a member of several industry associations including the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Clean Energy Council, the Australian Energy Council, the Carbon Market Institute and Sustainable Business Australia. Through our membership of industry organisations, we seek to work with other parties to provide a unified industry view on energy and related policies to put to government. Our view may, of course, differ on some issues from those of the industry groups to which we belong. Where this occurs on material issues, we aim to ensure that stakeholders are aware of these differences of view.
The community very reasonably expects that corporations should not have an undue level of influence on government policy by providing a level of financial contribution to political parties that could result in, or could be seen to result in, preferential treatment. No political donations (monetary or in-kind) were made during FY17, nor were any political donations made through third parties.
For further information on AGL's public policy engagement, see our FY17 Sustainability Report here