Frequently Asked Questions on the Energy Consumer Data Right (Client Update)

Frequently Asked Questions on the Energy Consumer Data Right (Client Update)

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Treasury have been progressing policy work on the implementation of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) in the energy sector. In this update we respond to some frequently asked questions relating to the energy CDR. What is the CDR? The CDR gives individuals and businesses a right to access specified data in relation to them held by businesses; and to authorise accredited third parties to access this data. The CDR is being rolled out sector by sector, beginning with the banking sector, then progressing to the energy and telecommunications sectors. For more general information on the CDR click here and here. The CDR is being implemented through a complex combination of legislation, rules, ministerial designations and data standards. The ACCC, the Treasury,…
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Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund Microgrids 2019-20

Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund Microgrids 2019-20

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Commonwealth Government has announced a fund designed to support feasibility studies into more reliable, secure and cost-effective energy supply to regional and remote communities in Australia. The program will fund projects between $100,000 and $10m. The objective of the program is to support regional and remote communities to investigate whether replacing, upgrading or supplementing a microgrid or upgrading existing off-grid and fringe-of-grid supply with microgrid or related new energy technologies would be cost-effective. The program is available to you for application if  your project is located in an inner regional, outer regional, remote or very remote area as defined by the Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Area Read more here.
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When are businesses allowed to collaborate to purchase electricity collectively? The latest ACCC decision

When are businesses allowed to collaborate to purchase electricity collectively? The latest ACCC decision

AU Energy Compliance
Last month the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its Draft Determination and Interim Authorisation for the Large Format Retail Association (LFRA) to collectively purchase electricity.[1] In this update we look at the mechanism that allows businesses to do this and its implications for the energy sector. Why is authorisation required? The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) prohibits anti-competitive conduct in a variety of ways. Provisions in the Act which prohibit specific behaviour include: division 1 of Part 4 of the Act which restricts ‘cartel conduct’. This occurs when a corporation makes, or give effect to, a contract, arrangement or understanding that fixes prices, restricts outputs, allocates customers or suppliers, or involves bid-rigging section 45 of the Act which prohibits a proposed contract, arrangement or understanding that…
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Demise of the Market Monitor

AU Energy Compliance
On 3 October 2019 IPART released its draft review of the performance and competitiveness NSW Electricity Market. A significant takeaway from the draft report is IPART’s recommendation that it be relieved of its role as the ‘Market Monitor’ - meaning that this would be the Tribunal’s final review of the NSW electricity market. Alex Silcock Compliance Quarter Legislative background To understand the role of the Market Monitor, it is necessary to revert to the deregulation of the electricity market in NSW. Prior to the adoption of the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF), electricity prices in NSW were regulated under the Energy Supply Act 1995. On 1 July 2013, the following three laws came into effect: National Energy Retail Law (Adoption) Act 2012 following which the National Retail Energy Law (NSW)…
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Timeframes for the installation of electricity meters

Timeframes for the installation of electricity meters

AU Energy Compliance
With few exceptions, where a new connection to the National Energy Market is set up, or where an existing meter needs replacing, a retailer (through its Metering Coordinator) must replace that meter with a smart meter (National Electricity Rules, 7.8.3). A smart meter (also known as an ‘advanced’ meter or a ‘type 4’ meter) is a device that digitally measures energy use. Energy data is sent to the retailer automatically, without the need for the meter to be manually read by a meter reader. Other mechanisms included within a smart meter allow for: remote switching power on or off; measuring power quality at the premises; customer monitoring of energy use; and notifying the distributor when the power goes out. The Rule Change In December 2018, the AEMC made a final…
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AEMC final report on regulatory sandbox arrangements (26 September 2019)

AEMC final report on regulatory sandbox arrangements (26 September 2019)

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Energy Market Commission has published its final report on regulatory sandbox arrangements to support proof of concept trials. The final report contains recommendations to the Council of Australian Government’s Energy Council aimed at better facilitating regulatory sandbox arrangements in the National Energy Markets. The final report follows the publication of the consultation paper on 20 December 2018 that sought feedback from stakeholders on the need for regulatory sandbox arrangements. The commission published its interim advice on 7 March 2019 proposing a regular tree sandbox initiative that could make use of a variety of existing and new tools to be applied according to their suitability within a proposed trial. Stakeholders overwhelmingly supported the introduction of the regulatory sandbox toolkit. The objective of the regulatory sandbox is to encourage innovation…
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September Energy Regulation Update

September Energy Regulation Update

AU Energy Compliance
General Reports Australian Energy Update 2019 The Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy has published its the Australian Energy Update 2019 – September 2019. In the foreword, the Department notes that the way we supply and use energy in Australia continues to change. This change includes the type of energy we use, how we use it and where it comes from. The report notes that energy consumption rose by 1% for the reporting period of 2017 to 2018. Australia’s energy consumption for the year was higher than the average growth of 0.6% a year over the past 10 years. The Australian economy grew by 2.8% to reach $1.8 trillion. There was a 2% energy productivity improvement (economic output/ energy consumption). Coal use is falling but still dominates the electricity generation…
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NERR in depth: Deemed Supply

NERR in depth: Deemed Supply

AU Energy Compliance
Under the National Energy Customer Framework there are two types of contracts: a market retail contract, being a contract that is negotiated, and a standard retail contract, in effect a default contract governing the supply of electricity where no market contract is in place. Energy may be supplied under a market retail contract or a standard retail contract. Energy may also be supplied under what is known as a deemed supply arrangement. Deemed supply is governed by Division 9 of the National Energy Retail Law (NERL). Where a deemed supply arrangement exists, the terms and conditions of a deemed customer retail arrangement are the terms and conditions of the retailer's standard retail contract and the prices are the retailer’s standing offer prices. In most cases, a consumer moving into new…
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NERR in depth: Disclosure obligations of retailers

NERR in depth: Disclosure obligations of retailers

AU Energy Compliance
We have previously written about the requirements for pricing disclosure when it comes to energy retailers. Disclosure is a key obligation and forms the basis of the subsequent contractual relationship between and energy customer and retailer. For those retailers operating in jurisdictions that have adopted the National Energy Customer Framework, additional disclosure obligations are found in rules 63 and 64 the NERR. Rule 63 provides that required information given to a customer before the formation of a market retail contract may be provided electronically, verbally, or in writing so long as it is also provided in a single written disclosure statement after the formation of the contract. Rule 63 further provides that where information is simply provided after the formation of a market retail contract, it must be provided in…
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ACCC position paper: data access model for energy data.

AU Energy Compliance
On the 29 August 2019, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its position paper: data access model for energy data. The purpose of the consumer data right (CDR) is to give consumers and authorised third parties direct access to data to enable consumers to make better choices and purchases. Under s 56AC of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) the application of the CDR to energy will be achieved by specifying the energy data holders and datasets to which the CDR applies through a designated instrument issued by the relevant Minister. The application of the CDR in energy is the second phase of implementation of the right, the first being its application in the banking sector. How will it work Under the CDR, a consumer will be able to…
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