Economic Insights provides regulatory and performance measurement advice to a wide range of regulators and energy utilities in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Canada.

Denis Lawrence pioneered the application of productivity measurement to energy supply in Australia and has worked continuously on energy regulation and performance measurement issues since 1989.

Economic Insights uses state-of-the-art methodologies to answer the following types of questions:

  • How does the productivity performance of a firm compare to its peers in both growth terms and levels?
  • Are proposed 'X' factors in CPI-X regulation appropriate?
  • How should regulatory parameters and performance targets be adjusted for factors beyond management control to ensure like-with-like comparisons?
  • Is the form of price control proposed appropriate?
  • What should be an appropriate rate of return on capital for the business?
  • What are the appropriate price level and price path?
  • What are the appropriate parameters for a service quality incentive scheme?
  • Are access regimes fair and reasonable to both parties?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of different structural reforms?
  • What is the ideal degree and type of vertical integration in the energy industry?
  • What would be the competitive effects of a merger?

Economic Insights uses strong analytical foundations and frameworks to deliver focused outcomes for its energy sector clients. Our economics consultants have a rigorous grounding in economic theory and practice and have well developed skills in performance measurement and econometric modelling. We work closely with Canadian Professor Erwin Diewert, one of the world's leading experts on performance measurement, and can quickly form multidisciplinary teams with economic and engineering expertise.

Our team at Economic Insights has provided advice to:


Economic Insights consultants have considerable expertise in the application of economic principles to the insurance sector. Our services include:

  • Analysis of the impact of regulation on insurance markets;
  • Public benefit tests of legislative restrictions on competition;
  • Analysis of the competitive effects of alternative scheme designs;
  • Econometric analysis of insurance premiums and cost developments;
  • Assessment of methodologies to determine optimal prices;
  • Assessment of moral hazard, adverse selection and other market failure issues;
  • Analysis of the competitive effects of mergers;
  • Analysis of bundling options.

Our consultants have advised major insurance companies in Australia and prepared influential papers for Commonwealth and state governments and regulators on public liability insurance, workers’ compensation, compulsory third party motor vehicle injury insurance, motor vehicle property insurance, and home warranty insurance.

Natural Resources and Environmental Economics

Economic Insights consultants have considerable expertise in the application of economic principles in the assessment and formulation of policies for natural resources and the environment. Our services include:

  • Design of market-based incentives to achieve environmental outcomes;
  • Design and assessment of emissions trading schemes;
  • Analysis to inform the allocation of property rights;
  • Design of auctions and tradable rights regimes to improve natural resource management;
  • Feasibility studies for conservation and recycling initiatives;
  • The determination of prices for effective use and management of natural resources.

Our consultants have advised Australian, State and local governments and international development institutions as well as industry, on water, climate change, transport, agriculture, fishing, forestry and recycling policies.


Economic Insights consultants have considerable expertise in the transport sector. Our experience spans comprehensive benefit cost analysis of major infrastructure and non-infrastructure initiatives, regulation of infrastructure, road transport reform, public private partnership issues, pricing and third party access.

Our team has extensive experience in competition and regulatory issues for a wide range of transport infrastructure sectors including: airports, seaports, rail and road. Advice has covered third party access issues, block exemptions for liner shipping conference agreements, public benefit tests of exclusive dealing arrangements, airport landing charges, airline alliances, competitive neutrality, corporatisation and public private partnerships.

Our services in the transport sector include:

  • Strategic planning and investment analysis;
  • Pricing and funding;
  • Regulation and governance;
  • Assessment of competition issues;
  • Road safety;
  • Urban congestion.

Telecommunications and Post

Economic Insights provides regulatory and performance measurement advice in the telecommunications and postal sectors.

Denis Lawrence, is one of the pioneers of the application of productivity measurement to telecommunications and postal services in Australia and has worked on communications regulation and performance measurement issues since the early 1990s.

Our services include:

  • Productivity measurement;
  • Determination of regulatory parameters;
  • Imputation tests;
  • Access regimes and access prices;
  • The competitive effects of product bundling;
  • The competitive and efficiency effects of mergers.

Examples of relevant projects our team has worked on include:

  • Estimation of the total factor productivity of Australia Post’s operations overall and of its reserved letter service operations as input to the ACCC’s review of Australia Post’s application for reserved service price increases;
  • Review for Telstra of total factor productivity modelling work undertaken by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for its report on price cap arrangements for telecommunications;
  • Review of total factor productivity estimates and other quantitative work undertaken by the Peruvian telecommunications regulator, Osiptel, and its use in arriving at appropriate factors for Telefónica del Perú;
  • Development and implementation of an empirical basis for testing whether growth accounting methods understate the likely contribution of information and communications technologies to economic growth;
  • Examination of the distribution of the benefits from Telstra’s productivity improvements between its customers, employees and shareholders and the implications of this for future regulatory decisions;
  • Assessment of the competitive and efficiency effects of telecoms mergers in Portugal;
  • Optimal capacity provisioning in the context of growth and uncertainty for Telstra’s submission to the regulation of its wholesale telephone network;
  • Advice on imputation tests for Telstra ;
  • Assessing the competition implications of Telstra’s broadband prices and the bundling of telecommunications products.


Economic Insights provides public policy and regulatory advice in the water sector. Our team has provided advice on structural reform in water supply, on water allocation methodologies and on the pricing of water infrastructure and water supplies.

Our services include:

  • Assessment of the competitive effects and public benefits of structural reform options in water supply;
  • Economic regulation of water infrastructure;
  • Productivity and performance measurement of water supply utilities;
  • Capital contribution issues;
  • The economic effects of different water allocation options;
  • Corporatisation and public private partnerships for water supply;

Our clients have included:

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