The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) engaged Paper Giant to identify barriers in the energy sector that prevent start-ups, emerging and existing businesses from developing competitive products and services using consumer energy data.
AEMO’s mission is to design and operate a sustainable energy system. A sustainable energy system is adaptive, it supports emerging markets and services, and it provides affordable, safe and reliable energy for all Australians.
However, the Australian energy system is complex, shaped by the conflicting needs and actions of consumers, government, organisations, the economy, the energy market and forces within the system itself.
AEMO engaged Paper Giant to help navigate this complex system and recommend initiatives to ensure the consumer energy data system supports emerging markets and services via a research process involving diverse business types.
COVID-19 has reminded Australia how important it is to have flexible and resilient strategies that ensure the supply of resources (including energy) is maintained during times of crisis. The pandemic has deepened the economic strain on new businesses, potentially making innovation more challenging.
Working with AEMO to understand the complex consumer energy data system, Paper Giant was able to remotely facilitate the co-design of AEMO’s short- and near-term strategies that ensure the Australian consumer energy data system remains stable and continues to support emerging and existing businesses well into the future.
During COVID-19 restrictions, in-person research was impossible, but it was still important to bring participants together in a shared forum. Paper Giant has prior experience with remote research, which we have found invaluable during the pandemic. We used online collaboration tools, and co-designed structured communication, workshop plans and outcomes in advance. This kept engagement with industry participants consistent and frequent through each project phase.
We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews and system map workshops with a large variety of energy startups, advocacy groups, data service providers, retailers and energy regulatory bodies. This ensured a balance of diverse perspectives was heard.
Paper Giant worked with different emerging and existing businesses and industry bodies to collate a list of challenges faced by businesses while setting up, designing, testing and delivering new products and services.
Using the information gathered from these co-design workshops, Paper Giant was able to identify forces, barriers and system loops that reinforce negative or positive effects on consumer energy data innovation.
AEMO continued to share, iterate and validate the system forces, loops and barriers with different industry participants, advocacy groups and legislative bodies to ensure their validity and accuracy through each project phase.
After each consultation and iteration of the system map, industry participants reported greater agreement with the map and increasingly used it as a tool to discuss the type and implications of barriers to consumer energy data innovation.
The systems map led to new relationships among participants, and conversations sprung up as people made new observations about the system and became interested in the gaps.
As a result, AEMO developed a clearer understanding of how they could advocate on behalf of the industry regarding the Consumer Data Right Framework for Energy to contribute to supporting innovation and change throughout the reform.
Using our understanding of system forces and barriers, we were able to recommend a set of actions for AEMO that would create positive flow-on effects in the consumer energy data system. Each action was designed to clear the system of a particular set of negative system effects.
Paper Giant helped AEMO make each action tangible by co-designing a set of success measures, benefits, risks and next steps for AEMO to consider when implementing.
AEMO hopes to continue to share, iterate and validate the energy data system map with different industry participants, advocacy groups and legislative bodies to further understand their influence in the system and how to stimulate innovation in the long-term.
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Paper Giant acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin nation, and the Ngunnawal people as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our offices are located, and the Traditional Owners of Country on which we meet and work throughout Australia. We recognise that sovereignty over the land has never been ceded, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.