Last week, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) announced that they’ve granted Localvolts an electricity retailer authorisation.
This event is a significant milestone in our journey for three reasons.
The first time the Australian Broadcasting Corporation featured Localvolts in a news broadcast, we received a note from Ben Shafran, a Director at the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the very same evening inviting us to come in for a chat. In our meeting the next day, he asked why we had not approached the AEMC about changing the laws and rules governing electricity, because he’s been getting representations from consumer advocates and proponents of new business models about the barriers to innovation and broader consumer participation under the existing laws. Our response was that existing regulations allow us to build a business where “everyone could do their own thing in electricity”; the problem is the actions and the lack of imagination of incumbents and aspiring organisations, not the laws.
Therefore, the first reason this milestone is important is that by granting Localvolts an electricity retailer authorisation, the AER has validated our thesis that the workings of the electricity industry can be transformed within the existing rules by someone with resolve and imagination.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the AER for being open to new ideas, and putting in the extra effort to probe and understand the details and mechanics of our business model.
Second, as an authorised retailer, we get the right to fully interact with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and other industry players. Now we can extend the reach of our systems and marketplace to incorporate and transform the supply chain.
Third, electricity is an essential service and one needs an authorisation to be in the business of buying and selling electricity, or rather in our case, allowing our customers to make their own deals.
So, now we can start extending our systems and marketplace, for which we need to grow our team and resources. In parallel, we continue with the field trials of the Alpha version of our marketplace – you are encouraged to try us out if you haven’t done so already.
The Localvolts team.