SA Consumer Experts Panel
The Consumer Experts Panel drew on the collective knowledge, skills, expertise and experience of the Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee and SA Water’s customer advisory groups, sitting jointly as a Consumer Experts Panel.
The Commission acknowledged and recognised the value that members of those committees could bring to the regulatory system in this State, developed through some 20 years of utility regulatory experience. We wanted to ensure that we captured and supported that value, and provided a meaningful and ongoing role for consumer representatives and advocates in South Australian regulatory processes.
The key purpose of the Consumer Experts Panel was to allow members to identify and raise issues that are important to the customers they represent. The Commission provided members with the resources and opportunity to have their views heard through an inclusive regulatory consultation process, including the capacity to commission research (through the Commission), on relevant areas of inquiry which would benefit the SAW RD20 review process and the outcomes for SA Water’s customers and the community.
The evidence, and other outputs, from these joint issue identification and prioritisation exercises was provided to SA Water’s Board and to the Negotiation Forum and was a critical input to the SAW RD20 process. The Consumer Experts Panel aimed to help to ensure that the proposed business plan that SA Water submitted to the Commission was prepared with a sound understanding of the key issues raised by members.
The SA Consumer Experts Panel developed a Priorities Report summarising its key priorities for SAW RD20.
The Priorities Report had two main purposes:
- It described the key issues that the members of the Panel expected SA Water to consider and respond to (including explanations as to why it will or will not pursue an issue) as it developed its proposed business plan for the 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024 regulatory period, and
- It provided guidance to the Customer Negotiation Committee on matters of consideration when testing SA Water’s draft business proposals, as part of the Negotiation Forum process.
The Panel aimed to help to ensure that SA Water’s proposed business plan was prepared with a sound understanding of the key issues raised by members.