The first Independent Accountability Panel Report (the Report) has been welcomed by the Energy Charter signatories as they forge ahead on their path to improve customer outcomes.

The Report’s 32 recommendations offer an ambitious roadmap for the world-first CEO-led initiative that aims to deliver a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system for all Australians.

During its review, the panel analysed disclosure reports submitted by 18 energy companies including generators, transmission companies, distributors and retailers. This was supported by a period of consultation which included CEO briefings, stakeholder forums and public submissions.

Chair of the Energy Charter CEO Council, John Cleland, said the inaugural Report was a defining moment for the Energy Charter and would guide signatories both individually and collectively in achieving tangible improvements for the customer.

“We welcome the Independent Accountability Panel’s recommendations and are determined to turn them into action, to rebuild trust in the sector and improve affordability and customer satisfaction,” Mr Cleland said.

“It is clear we need to dig deeper to know our customers, increase collaboration on high-impact initiatives across the entire energy supply chain, and take actions to advocate and support all customers so we can succeed together.”

The Independent Accountability Panel, led by chair, Dr Wendy Craik, published the Report. Among the Panel’s recommendations were key themes to:

• Increase customer voice and experience at governance and strategic levels
• Together deliver high-impact initiatives for change such as tariff co-design and roll-out advocacy for customers facing vulnerability and access to distributed energy resources
• Measure, track and benchmark progress on customer outcomes across the sector, closing the loop on the impact of individual initiatives
• Elevate customer feedback and complaints strategically within each business

As signatories look to 2020, the Report provides guidance and motivation to continuously improve, listen and engage in open, honest conversations with customers and importantly, work together.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our customers, stakeholders and end-user representatives to develop a maturity framework to guide our next annual disclosures and inspire others to join,” Mr Cleland said.

Formed in January 2019, the Energy Charter is a CEO-led initiative of 19 Australian energy companies, including newest signatory Horizon Power, from across the energy supply chain.

Companies are focused on embedding customer-centric culture across the sector, and delivering a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system. Signatories collectively service more than ten million Australian energy customers.

Siobhan Day is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and Pump Industry magazine, and has been part of the team since early 2019. With a background in management in the non-profit sector, Siobhan has extensive experience in communications, professional writing and client management. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications and is currently completing a postgraduate degree.

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