Day One - Wednesday, 4 December

Registration and welcome coffee

Opening remarks from the Chair

Roger Dargaville
Deputy Director, Monash Energy Institute
Monash University

Future of energy retailing – what will the sector look like in the next decade?
Supporting customers who are doing it tough while stabilising the energy system with the “Community Energy” product
  • Offering electricity at no charge during off-peak times to customers who are experiencing ongoing financial hardship
  • Giving more Western Australians access to the benefits of solar panels with potential savings of $200 - $500 a year
  • Improving system stability by incentivising customers to shift their electricity usage away from evening peak times to the middle of the day

Lesley Walker
Executive General Manager, Customer

Maximising the benefits of rooftop solar systems to export energy
  • Refining the technology and stakeholder engagement mechanisms to enable dynamic solar exports to the grid
  • Integrating retailer signals with distribution network service provider’s operating envelops to reduce the load on the grid during peak periods
  • Developing a retail product to provide incentives for customers to reward them for enabling access to their solar system
  • Recognising and addressing the social licence issues in exporting consumer energy

Ryan Wavish
General Manager, Simply Energy Solutions
Simply Energy

Unlocking grid edge intelligence and demand side response with next-gen smart meters: case studies from Melbourne and California

Michael Jary
Managing Director of EMEA & APAC

PANEL DISCUSSION: What does energy retailing look like in 2025 and 2030?
  • How will energy be charged? Should we be preparing for tariffs, subscriptions or some other paradigm shift in billing?
  • Do retailers need to fundamentally change their billing model e.g. moving from charging per kWh to a service-based relationship?
  • What does an increase in bi-directional energy mean for energy retailers?
  • How do we gain the trust and consumer buy-in necessary for the energy transition?


Stephanie Bashir


Daisy Cross
Head of Future Retail Markets
Energy UK

Ryan Wavish
General Manager, Simply Energy Solutions
Simply Energy

Katalin Polus
Head of Customer Marketing

Morning tea

Building trust in energy retailers through social licence and customer-focussed business models
Better engagement and collaboration with vulnerable customers to ensure they are not left behind in the transition
  • Leveraging the energy transition to provide vulnerable customers with access to cleaner, affordable electricity supply
  • Grasping the role of the energy retailer in improving energy security for First Nations customers and communities
  • Recognising the value of authentic engagement and building trust with vulnerable customers

Louisa Kinnear
Chief Executive Officer
Jacana Energy

Making an energy retailing model specifically for vulnerable customers

Nau Mai Rā is social enterprise energy retailer. A portion of each customer's power bill goes to "pay it forward" for others who may be struggling.

  • Combining social retailing and community energy around the idea power is a right and not a privilege
  • Different funding models to help struggling customers pay their power bills
  • White labelling the service for resale via other retailers as a product specifically for vulnerable customers

Ezra Hirawani
Chief Executive Officer
Nau Mai Ra

FIRESIDE CHAT: Acting on urgent transition and affordability issues

This informal conversation will examine how energy suppliers can actively help their most vulnerable customers.

  • Thinking beyond the customer to the community to ensure all consumers are benefiting
  • Linking social licence for the energy transition to energy affordability
  • Overcoming inertia and mistrust to move vulnerable customers onto the most appropriate deal (particularly in relation to explicit informed consent)
  • Connecting distressed consumers with appropriate resources (National Energy Concessions Awareness Campaign)
  • Moving from competition to collaboration for customers facing vulnerability

Bec Jolly
Director of Collaboration
The Energy Charter

Fiona Guthrie
Chief Executive Officer
Financial Counsellors Australia


PANEL DISCUSSION: How does the sector most effectively address energy affordability?
  • What are realistic approaches to getting vulnerable customers onto the most competitive pricing?
  • Which energy-saving solutions resonate most with customers?
  • How can energy retailers leverage early indicators of customer hardship?
  • What are the best ways to communicate with customers before they fall into arrears?
  • Which agencies should energy retailers be referring defaulting customers?
  • Which programs (eg Energy Charter’s Customer Code / Knock to Stay Connected) are effective?


Aaron Yuen
Director, Analysis and Reform, Energy
Essential Services Commission (ESC)


Louisa Kinnear
Chief Executive Officer
Jacana Energy

Catherine Wolthuizen
Ombudsman and Chief Executive
Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV)

Ezra Hirawani
Chief Executive Officer
Nau Mai Ra

Geoffrey Rutledge
Deputy Director-General, Environment Water and Emissions Reduction
Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (ACT)


Behavioural economics applied to energy customers
  • Implementing the AER’s “Better Bills Guideline” – is there early evidence of behavioural change?\
  • Using nudge theory in the energy retailing space to push customers towards specific products and services
  • Predictability and behavioural change in an environment of high energy costs
  • Keeping pace with changing consumer preferences in an Energy-as-a-Service future

Yatra Forudi
General Manager Retail Opportunities
Energy Queensland

Using debt prediction to minimise exposure to late or non-payment of energy bills
  • Using behavioural science to engage with consumers who are having difficulty with energy bills
  • Dissecting non-payers into categories and targeting each group with appropriate strategies
  • Assessing the effectiveness of early invention with tailored responses

Libby Dale

Afternoon tea

Pricing and regulation in an era of bill shock and big sticks
Protecting consumers (and non-vertically integrated retailers) from the volatility of wholesale prices
  • Scrutinising the issues that caused retailers to fail in the crisis of 22 – and how they might be avoided
  • Exploring the cash burden on retailers in the current market
  • Critically examining AEMO’s role in clearing the market

James McIntosh
General Manager of Markets and Trading
Zen Energy

Managing evolving energy regulation and how the burden of compliance might be reduced
  • Identifying the most complicated and byzantine of the pricing, billing, and customer protection requirements and how they could be simplified
  • Examining how the Consumer Data Right has impacted the energy sector and consumers
  • Allowing the existing regulatory regime to mature before new expansions are rolled out
  • Reforming regulations to build a system that is in the customer’s interest

Jo De Silva
General Manager Retail Policy
Australian Energy Council

Creating the opportunity for more concerted action for vulnerable customers: Game Changer project

The AER’s ”Towards energy equity” strategy sets out clear objectives and actions to deliver improvements for consumers. One of these actions is to advocate for sector-wide ‘game changer’ reforms.

  • Recognising the systemic challenges in supporting consumers experiencing vulnerability
  • Early identification of consumers experiencing vulnerability to get them support and improve outcomes

Jarrod Ball
Board Member
Australian Energy Regulator (AER)

Closing remarks from the Chair
Networking drinks