EWON expanded jurisdiction and new fee structure

EWON expanded jurisdiction and new fee structure

AU Energy Compliance

The Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW (EWON) has announced changes to its Constitution and a new funding model. This follows an extensive review conducted by EWON in response to the requirement for Exempt Entities to become members of EWON. In this article, we look at the changes including expanded jurisdiction and a new fee structure.

Old Register EWON expanded jurisdiction

By Anne Wardell, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter.

Photo by Ramiro Mendes on Unsplash

KPMG Final Report

As part of the review, EWON commissioned KPMG to assist and review proposed models. On 9 May 2018, KPMG released its Final report: KPMG’s Final report on membership model, fees, voting rights and Board composition (the Report). The Report considered the following issues:
• Membership model;
• Fee structure;
• Member voting rights; and
• Board composition.
The Report includes the following summary:

EWON expanded jurisdiction summary of key themes

The Report also includes the following useful summary:

EWON expanded jurisdiction summary of final options

The new Funding Model

EWON expanded jurisdiction fees tables

As you can see the new Funding Model has been designed to accommodate the types of exempt entities which have smaller customer numbers than the large energy retailers.
The EWON Board has also delegated the discretion to the Ombudsman, Janine Young, to recommend to the Board that some new exempt entity members are offered a varied fee or a payment plan in appropriate circumstances. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Amended Constitution

At an Extraordinary General Meeting on 7 June 2018, EWON’s members voted to approve the necessary changes to EWON’s Constitution to enable exempt entities to join EWON.  The Constitutional amendments include the following:

  • changes to the voting rights of members;
  • composition of Industry Directors on the Board; and
  • director tenure.

EWON will continue to have a Board consisting of five Directors representing consumer interests, five Directors representing industry directors and an independent Chair.

The Ombudsman will also establish an operational advisory group comprised of representatives of Exempt Entities and WICA (Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (NSW)) Providers. The first meeting of this group is scheduled for 31 July 2018.  If you would like to attend the meeting, please contact Stephanie Saill, Manager Governance on 02 8218 5257 or by email to stephanies@ewon.com.au.

In relation to voting rights, Clause 9.7 provides that each member present at the General Meeting is entitled to cast that number of votes which is equal to the midpoint of the Customer Bandwidth into which the Member falls.

In relation to Industry Directors, Clause 10.10 provides as follows:

The Industry Directors must comprise:

a) two directors who were nominated by a Member in the energy retail sector;

b) one director who was nominated by a Member in the energy network sector;

c) one director who was nominated by a Member in the water sector; and

d) one director nominated by a Member in accordance with Clause 10.16(b).

Clause 10.16(b) provides for invitations to nominate candidates to be sent to various members in the event of a vacancy.

Further information is available on the EWON website at EWON Expanded Jursidiction Final Report.

Please contact the Compliance Quarter team by clicking here if you’d like to know more or have any questions for us.

New benchmark for solar feed-in tariffs in NSW

New benchmark for solar feed-in tariffs in NSW

AU Energy Compliance, Consumer

On 3 July, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) released its final report on the value of solar feed-in tariffs for 2018/2019[1]. We heralded the release of IPART’s final decision in an earlier article and encouraged our readers to make submissions on the issues paper.

solar feed-in tariffs - girl holds the sun

Photo by Olivier Fahrni on Unsplash

By Alex Silcock, Senior Paralegal, Compliance Quarter

Rooftop solar has become increasingly popular, with customers either using electricity generated by their own panels or selling the electricity generated back to the grid. ‘Solar feed-in tariffs’ refer to the amount customers receive from retailers for electricity that they export back to the grid.

It is important to note that IPART does not set a uniform tariff that all retailers must adhere to. Rather, they set a voluntary ‘benchmark range’ which gives retailers guidance as to the feed-in tariffs that they should offer customers. For the 2017-2018 year, IPART’s benchmark range was 11.9 to 15.0 cents per kilowatt-hour, while the actual tariffs offered by retailers varied between 6 cents and 20 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The newly released report by the NSW regulator has reduced the benchmark range to 6.9 to 8.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is a significant reduction on last year, and a key consideration for the regulator was to ensure that feed-in tariffs for solar owners were not pushing up electricity prices for those customers without solar.

It must be emphasised, that IPART also found that customers with rooftop solar pay an average of $450 less on their energy bill than those without. This figure was reached before feed-in tariffs are taken into account. Therefore, even with the reduced benchmark, solar customers are still reaping benefits.

From a regulatory perspective, it is interesting that, despite submissions to the contrary, IPART has continued to persist with the voluntary benchmark range rather than setting a minimum solar feed-in tariff as occurs in other jurisdictions. This is consistent with the state regulator’s monitoring role, which focuses more on investigation and no longer actually sets regulated prices. Furthermore, this should continue to allow retailers greater scope for market innovation around rooftop solar.

It will be interesting to see if there is a significant change to tariffs in response to IPART’s new benchmark.

If you have any questions about your rights as a consumer of rooftop solar, or your obligations as an electricity retailer, please contact us at Compliance Quarter.

 

[1] https://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/files/sharedassets/website/shared-files/pricing-reviews-energy-services-publications-solar-feed-in-tariffs-201819/final-report-solar-feed-in-tariff-benchmarks-201819-june-2018.pdf

Webinar – Jurisdictional Derogations from the National Energy Retail Law

Webinar – Jurisdictional Derogations from the National Energy Retail Law

AU Energy Compliance

In this article, we include the transcript and presentation slides from a recent free webinar that examines Jurisdictional Derogations under the National Energy Retail Law.

National Energy Retail Law, Bullamalita Rd, Quialigo, Australia

By Alex Silcock, Senior Paralegal and Regulatory Advisor, Compliance Quarter

Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania

What is the National Energy Consumer Framework (NECF)?

  • NECF consists of the National Energy Retail Law (NERL) and the National Energy Retail Rules.
  • Adopted by all States in the NEM except Victoria which operates under the Victorian Energy Retail Code.
  • Derogations in each jurisdiction.

National Energy Retail Law - state by state

South Australia

National Energy Retail Law (Local Provisions) Regulations 2013

National Energy Retail Law Local Provisions South Australia

New South Wales

National Energy Retail Law (Adoption) Act 2012 – Schedule 1; and
NERL (Adoption) Regulation 2013
  • Consumption threshold – NERL (Adoption) regulation – CI 4
  • Paper Bill charges – NERR Rule 35A
  • Market Monitor -NERL (Adoption) regulation 8A-8E
  • Early termination fees – NERR Rules 73A and 49A
  • Waiver of late payment fees -NERR Rule 73(2)

Queensland

Regional Queensland

S 22A AND 23A of the NERL (Queensland) relate to Regional Queensland and the retailer obligation to adhere to the notified prices set by the QCA and give notice to their customers when these CHANGE.

National Energy Retail Law - access to notified prices

Source: Queensland Competition Authority – Final determination Regulated retail electricity prices for 2017-18 June 2017

National Energy Retail Law (Queensland) Act 2014; and
National Energy Retail Law (Queensland) Regulation 2014

National Energy Retail Law Queensland Regulation

Tasmania

National Energy Retail Law (Tasmania) Act 2012; and
National Energy Retail Law (Tasmania) Regulations 2012
  • Deemed contract obligations – NERL Tasmania s I7A
  • Consumption threshold – NERL Tasmania s 22; and NERL regulations Tasmania CI 7.
  • Late payment fees -NERL Tasmania s19

Presentation Slides

Contact us

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