Active search icon

Industry leading trial of direct negotiation with a Customer Forum

As part of our customer engagement, we will be the first Australian utility business to trial a new process that places customers at the heart of developing our expenditure plans. This new process involves the establishment of a Customer Forum that is capable of representing the perspective of our customers. 

Elements of AusNet Services’ Regulatory Proposal for the 2021-26 regulatory period are being negotiated with the Customer Forum.


Customer Forum members

The Customer Forum consists of a Chairperson and four members. The Customer Forum members were chosen in an independent and rigorous process, including through consultation with Energy Consumers Australia and the AER. The members were selected for their diverse and complementary skills and experience; their ability to credibly represent the perspectives of customers; their understanding of consumer issues; and their analytical ability.

The Customer Forum members are:

Left to right: Dianne Rule (Forum member), Greg Camm (Forum member), Tom Hallam (General Manager Regulation, AusNet Services), Tony Robinson (Forum Chair), Helen Bartley (Forum member), John Mumford (Forum member)

Tony Robinson (chair): Experienced consumer advocate and previous Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs.
Helen Bartley: Experienced market and social researcher with specific experience in customer engagement processes for utilities.
John Mumford: Experienced consumer advocate and financial counsellor.  John and his family run a small beef cattle and hazelnut farm in South Gippsland and is a customer of AusNet Services.
Greg Camm: Experienced financial sector executive and former Director of Yarra Valley Water, which pioneered the Citizens Jury process in the water sector.
Dianne Rule: Broad experience across education, publishing, politics and community projects.

Read the member biographies.

Customer Forum Final Engagement Report

The Customer Forum’s final report documents the agreements negotiated with AusNet Services. It is the culmination of almost two year’s work by the Customer Forum as part of a trial (NewReg trial) to achieve a more customer focussed electricity distribution price determination.

You can access the report by clicking on this Customer Forum Final Engagement Report link or on the image.



Customer Forum Interim Engagement Report

Customer Forum Interim Engagement Report - AusNet Services EDPR

The Customer Forum has prepared an interim engagement report that describes its:

-  activities to date;

-  initial views and findings; and

- negotiation of elements of our 2021-25 Draft Regulatory Proposal .

You can access the report by clicking on this Customer Forum Interim Engagement Report link or on the image.


Establishment and role of the Customer Forum 

Beyond enhancing the way we listen to our customers, the Customer Forum trial is an exciting and innovative approach that aims to ensure that AusNet Services’ plans for the 2021-26 period genuinely reflect the preferences and perspectives of our customers.

The Customer Forum was established in March 2018 with strong support from consumer advocates and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). 

The arrangements for the Customer Forum have been developed in consultation with the AER and Energy Consumers Australia. The arrangements are documented in an Early Engagement Plan (EEP). The EEP is intended to be a living document that will be updated to reflect progress and insights gained throughout the Customer Forum process.

As well as supporting the trial, the AER has an important role in guiding and providing input to this new process. Further information and AER documentation relating to the trial process can be found on the AER’s website

If you would like more information or have any comments on the trial process, please contact Charlotte Eddy, Manager Economic Regulation on 03 9695 6309 or


Customer Forum materials

Click on each section heading below for relevant materials.