Is Energy Regulation Fit for Purpose? Review of regulatory arrangements for embedded networks – AER submission

Is Energy Regulation Fit for Purpose? Review of regulatory arrangements for embedded networks – AER submission

AU Energy Compliance
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter. In a recent article, Embedded Networks under the spotlight, Connor James outlined the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) review of the regulatory arrangements for embedded networks. The AEMC released a consultation paper and sought submissions. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) lodged a submission on 17 May 2017. In this article I consider the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) submission. Paula Conboy, Chair of the AER, has provided a covering letter which usefully summarises the recommendations made in the submission. Attachment A provides detailed answers to the questions asked in the Consultation paper. The AER is of the view that the review ‘provides an opportunity to consider whether the benefits of embedded networks outweigh the detriment’[1] The submission identifies both areas for improvement in the regulatory framework…
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Embedded Networks Under the Spotlight

Embedded Networks Under the Spotlight

AU Energy Compliance
By Connor James, Compliance Quarter. The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is reviewing the regulatory arrangements for embedded networks. Embedded networks operate in a unique space from the regulatory perspective. Common examples of embedded networks include shopping centres, retirement villages, apartment complexes and caravan parks. Embedded networks are also found in commercial buildings. Below we discuss the AEMC review and the broad regulatory challenges with embedded networks. What is an embedded network? Embedded networks are private electricity networks connected to the distribution and transmission system of the national electricity market through a parent connection point (gate meter). Consumers within embedded networks are typically individually metered and sold electricity from the ENO. ENOs own network infrastructure and on-sell electricity from the gate meter within the embedded network to the occupants. There…
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Dousing the phoenix: Three measures that could curb this dodgy insolvency practice

Dousing the phoenix: Three measures that could curb this dodgy insolvency practice

Uncategorized
                              By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. We mentioned last time that the Government is consulting on some options for curbing the misuse of the ‘safety net’ available for companies unable to pay employment entitlements on insolvency. There, we discussed the possibility of Government action to stop an illegal ‘phoenix company’, otherwise known as ‘phoenixing’ or ‘phoenix activity’. Today’s article is a deep dive into this particular practice: What is it, and what could be done to put a stop to it? The definition of “phoenix activity” In their 2015 report Business Set-Up, Transfer and Closure, the Productivity Commission defined illegal phoenix activity as: “the shifting of a business’s assets but not liabilities away from a…
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Complaints Resolution for Exempt Customers

Complaints Resolution for Exempt Customers

AU Energy Compliance
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter. Small customers of authorised retailers and distributors of energy have access to free and independent dispute resolution through their state ombudsman. This is not the case for small customers of exempt energy sellers and exempt network service providers. These can be small customers who live in a caravan park, retirement village or high-rise apartment and receive energy by way of an embedded network which is private. There are numerous classes of deemed, registerable and individual energy sellers and network service providers. Although one of the conditions required for an exemption is an adequate dispute resolution system, this does not allow customers to access the ombudsman service, except in NSW. On 13 June 2017, the AER published an issues paper seeking stakeholders' views on the current…
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