Recovering Costs in the California Retail Market: The Power Charge Indifference Adjustment

Financial Services
Why has the Australian Federal Government gone about developing the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) rather than adopting the Clean Energy Targets advocated in the Finkel Review?[1] By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. According to the Federal Government, it is a matter of balance. Balancing emissions reduction goals with the need to maintain ongoing system reliability. Of course, perspectives will differ as to whether the NEG is getting that balance right[2], but what is undeniable is that renewable energy cannot prosper in a policy vacuum. Fostering renewable energy requires that all Governments make policy adjustments to other aspects of electricity regulation in order to maintain supply at a reasonable price. In California, regulatory tension between renewables and system reliability has reached a head with a submission earlier this month of joint…
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Important changes to Retail Pricing Information Guidelines

AU Energy Compliance
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.  The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has released new Retail Pricing Information Guidelines (the new Guidelines) which commence on 31 August 2018. Although the new Guidelines commence on 31 August 2018, not all of the new requirements will commence on that date. The AER is of the view that the changes will take time to implement and has therefore introduced a series of stages for implementation. The important dates for the stage implementation are: Source: new Guidelines at pp 5-6 A number of key changes have been introduced in the new Guidelines including the replacement of the Energy Price Fact Sheet. The key changes to the Guidelines include: replacing the requirement for retailers to provide an Energy Price Fact Sheet with a requirement that each energy plan have two…
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Three financial services compliance lessons from the Royal Commission

Three financial services compliance lessons from the Royal Commission

Financial Services
Today we continue to look at financial services compliance.“It’s not enough, is it… to have those policies and procedures in place? Financial advisers need to comply with them”[1]. So asked assisting counsel last week in the second round of hearings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (the Royal Commission). The fallout from the last week of hearings has been extensive, including the resignation of the AMP CEO and indications of impending law reform.[2]  We discussed some issues that arose in the first round of hearings here https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/royal-commission-round-one-the-home-loan-introducer-program/. [caption id="attachment_4184" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Rob Potter on Unsplash[/caption] This second round has focused on: charging fees for financial advice that is not provided or not provided in full (fees for no service); provision…
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State Support for Renewable Energy in California

State Support for Renewable Energy in California

AU Energy Compliance
Last week the CEO of PG & E, Geisha Williams, California’s largest utility provider, explained PG & E’s move away from coal (http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/12/news/companies/pge-coal-renewable-energy/index.html). Williams argued that natural gas and renewables are more economical for California, as well as cleaner. PG & E aims to boost its renewable energy to 55% by 2031 -five percent above the state target. Renewable Energy in California, its a hot topic! In today’s piece, we look at state support for renewables in California and compare it with the support available from the federal government in Australia. This will be of interest to any business looking at moving into the renewable space in California. [caption id="attachment_4177" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Renewable Energy California[/caption] By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. Renewable Energy Support in Australia In Australia, the primary support…
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The rules for owning or operating an embedded network in New Zealand

The rules for owning or operating an embedded network in New Zealand

NZ Energy Compliance
We have spent a lot of time recently discussing embedded networks and, in particular, the ‘power of choice’ and embedded network manager reforms.[1] We also recently discussed the permissive regulatory environment in New Zealand for electricity retail.[2] Assessing the regulatory environment in New Zealand for ‘Secondary Networks’ (the New Zealand equivalent of Australian embedded networks) is more complex. [caption id="attachment_4099" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Tim Swaan on Unsplash[/caption] By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. Today we look at the key rules for owning or operating an embedded network in New Zealand with an emphasis on the differences between the Australian and New Zealand contexts. The definition of secondary networks. A Secondary Network is defined as any network that is connected to a local distribution network rather than directly to the…
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OAIC releases first quarterly statistics report under the NDB Scheme

Consumer, Uncategorized
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.  Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash The OAIC has published its first quarterly statistics report under the NDB Scheme, Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Statistics Report: January 2018 – March 2018. It is interesting to note that the total number of breaches received for the first quarter was 63. Remember that the NDB only commenced at the end of February 2018. The report provides useful snapshots of the findings such as the top five industry sectors where an NDB occurred: The most common type of personal information revealed was contact information. It is perhaps of some concern that the next two most common types of information disclosed were financial details and health information: Although 73% of the eligible data breaches involved the personal information of fewer…
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Expanding into the New Zealand electricity retail market? The broad contours of the New Zealand system

Expanding into the New Zealand electricity retail market? The broad contours of the New Zealand system

AU Energy Compliance
Last week, New Zealand’s electricity regulator announced that “consumer choice has reached record levels, with 47 different retail brands now supplying New Zealand households”.[1] With so many new entrants into the New Zealand retail market (12 in the last year), it is worth taking a look the general features of the New Zealand electricity system and retail market and how they contrast with Australia’s. [caption id="attachment_4038" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Jasper van der Meij on Unsplash[/caption] By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. The New Zealand grid and wholesale market As in Australia, the retail market has been traditionally dominated by several ‘gentailers’, vertically integrated organisations with separate generation and retail arms. Five gentailers, Contact Energy, Genesis Energy, Mercury Energy, Meridian Energy and TrustPower together produce about 95% of New Zealand's…
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Two Billion Dollar Opportunities for Innovation in the Energy Market

AU Energy Compliance
Innovation in the Energy Market - If you believe the news, we are in the midst of an energy crisis. Ignoring the politicking, today we examine two areas of the energy market that are ripe for innovation. In our previous post, we spoke about the number of businesses now looking to become energy retailers. Much of this is driven by business models looking to innovate the energy market. [caption id="attachment_4033" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Marcus Wallis on Unsplash[/caption] By Connor James, Compliance Quarter. Demand Management that People Care About Countless providers offer an ‘app’ or device to help you manage your energy. Most of them fail. The promise is simple—give people more power over how and when they use, store, or export energy. In doing so, savings can be achieved,…
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What is a small, medium or large ADI? Latest BEAR Update

What is a small, medium or large ADI? Latest BEAR Update

Financial Services
The Banking Executive and Accountability Regime (BEAR) was passed into law in February of this year. We have talked about his law change several times before (see https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/1-july-2018-getting-prepared-banking-executive-accountability-regime-bear/). Today we look at the latest consultation from the Treasury consequent to that law change. This consultation looks at how the size of authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) are to be defined for the purposes of BEAR. [caption id="attachment_4024" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Matthias Goetzke on Unsplash[/caption] By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. BEAR Update - Legislative Instruments under the BEAR The BEAR, like many Acts of Parliament, sets out a range of matters to be determined by future determination of Ministers or regulatory bodies. The BEAR provides that the relevant Minister (I.e. the Treasurer), as well as the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority…
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AER Reporting procedures and guidelines amended

AU Energy Compliance
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.  AER Reporting procedures - The Australian Energy Regulator has released an updated AER (Retail Law) Performance Reporting Procedures and Guidelines April 2018. The revised Guidelines require retailers to report additional data to the AER, including: Further detail about the retail market and market structure (particularly regarding customer contracts); Information on the rollout of smart meters as a result of the metering contestability regime which commenced on 1 December 2017; and Further information about customers experiencing payment difficulties (including in relation to payment plans, hardship programs, and referrals to credit collection agencies). In order to allow retailers to make the necessary system changes required to capture the new information,  the commencement date for the first new report was moved back six months to 1 January 2019, or…
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