It is an opportunity to share with you what we have heard from you - and others - who attended our open energy forum in August, and in other discussions with individual retailers, representatives from community and consumer groups, and other agencies.
You will hear from Dean, Jordan and the team what we have heard, and how that has informed our thinking.
When I was thinking about today, and the importance of these ongoing discussions, I was struck by how fundamental the Victorian Default Offer is to the reform program.
As I shared with you in August, the reform agenda is all about rebuilding trust in the market.
It is about giving customers more confidence that the energy market is ‘working for them’.
While we are a here today talking about the VDO, the reform program we are working on is much broader including –
And soon we will be embarking on the next big piece of work – developing a framework to assess the competitiveness and efficiency of the Victorian retail energy market – also known as recommendation 8.
The point is that we – and you – know there is a lot happening – and there’s more to come.
But at the end of the day the goal is the same - to address the shortcomings of a market that is not, by any measure, delivering for customers.
But before you get to the work of the day, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we - as partners in this reform journey - have delivered already for a substantial number of Victorians.
On July 1 this year, an estimated 130,000 households (around 5 per cent), and 30,000 small businesses (around 10 per cent) were switched from high cost simple standing offers to the Victorian Default Offer – mark 1 if you will.
VDO mark 1 delivered estimated annual savings of between $310 and $450 a year for residential customers … and between $1380 and $2050 for small businesses.
And while that number might not seem much to some … for many Victorians, those savings mean the difference between being able to afford a much anticipated school excursion or holiday camp.
For a small business it could be the difference of being able to replace a piece of equipment or provide extra hours for a casual staff member.
What I am saying is … what we are doing here is important, not just to us, but to many Victorians who are relying on us to continue our work, to make a real difference - for them.
Now I’ll hand back to Dean to outline today’s program for you. Thank you everyone – over to you Dean.