Further penalties paid in relation to disconnection of energy supply

Further penalties paid in relation to disconnection of energy supply

AU Energy Compliance
This month we have seen further cases of energy businesses being penalised for disconnections that were conducted other than in accordance with applicable energy law. On 16 August 2019, the Australian Energy Regulator announced that Origin Energy had paid penalties totalling $80,000 in relation to four infringement notices issued for the unlawful disconnection of 54 premises between January 2018 and May 2019. In commenting on the matter, AER chairperson Paula Conboy said “the AER’s investigation found systemic issues with Origin’s management of customer disconnections” with Origin failing to have “adequate processes in place to satisfy the disconnection obligations in the National Energy Retail Rules.” Origin Energy also entered into a court enforceable undertaking, in which it was stated that some of the disconnections occurred due to IT system failures in…
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How are embedded gas networks regulated in Australia?

How are embedded gas networks regulated in Australia?

AU Energy Compliance
In the recent Update to the Regulatory Framework for Embedded Networks, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) looked at potential changes to the way ‘embedded gas networks’ are regulated.[1] In this article we look at the current state of regulation for embedded gas networks across the eastern and south-eastern jurisdictions (Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria). We look at the different rules that apply to natural gas distribution in those states and territories including gas safety obligations. Note, as the focus here is on the regulation of gas distribution we do not look at a range of other laws and regulations that may apply, such as those relating to gas-fitting, employment health and safety and access to ombudsman/tribunals. What is an embedded gas…
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A report on the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia

A report on the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia

AU Energy Compliance
Following a referral from the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor MP, the Standing Committee on Environment and Energy resolved on 6 August 2019 to conduct an inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia. The Committee will inquire into and report on the circumstances and prerequisites necessary for any future government’s consideration of nuclear energy generation including small modular reactor technologies in Australia, including: waste management, transport and storage, health and safety, environmental impacts, energy affordability and reliability, economic feasibility, community engagement, workforce capability, security implications, national consensus, and any other relevant matter. The Committee is accepting written submissions, addressing one or more of the terms of reference, to be received by Monday 16 September 2019. Read more here.
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An Update on Energy Regulation

An Update on Energy Regulation

AU Energy Compliance
In this, the first of our weekly podcasts, we discuss: a. Energy reporting obligations; b. A new New prohibition on disconnection and reconnection charges in NSW; and c. Third-party agent and contractor compliance risks.  Our presenters Connor James BSc, LLB, GDLP, LLM (Commercial Transactions) Connor is a qualified solicitor with Science and Law degrees and significant experience in regulatory compliance. Connor has worked for a number of energy retail and network companies including Integral Energy, Redback Technologies and Next Business Energy. Alex Silcock LLB, BIGS  Alex Silcock is a lawyer with Law Quarter and regulatory specialist with Compliance Quarter. He recently completed a secondment with TransGrid’s Legal, Governance and Risk team. Alex works extensively with energy retailers including in the development of their compliance programs.
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A summary of regulatory requirements for statements of advice

A summary of regulatory requirements for statements of advice

Financial Services
As noted in our previous article, a statement of advice is the main document that records advice provided to retail clients. The advice process Individuals obtain information about financial products in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings. An individual may talk to friends and family, their lawyer, their accountant and others who they trust when considering a financial product. Where advice is sought from a financial advisor, a financial services guide (FSG) will typically be provided to a client in the first meeting between the client and advisor. A statement of advice (SoA) will then either set out the advice or record the advice that was given. If the statement of advice is not itself the means by which advice is provided, then it must be…
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An introduction to Financial Product Advice

An introduction to Financial Product Advice

Financial Services
Financial advice is regulated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as financial product advice. The provision of financial product advice is a financial service and a financial planner or adviser must hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFS Licence) or operate under an exemption to this licensing requirement. Financial advisors and AFS Licence holders are subject to general licensing obligations including relating to conduct and disclosure as well as additional obligations for financial advisers who provide financial product advice to retail clients. In this post, we introduce the types of advice given, the topics typically covered by advice and the regulatory framework. Types of financial product advice Under the Corporations Act there are two types of financial product advice. These are: personal advice which is defined as financial product advice…
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The New Energy Tech Consumer Code

The New Energy Tech Consumer Code

AU Energy Compliance
In 2017 a Behind the Meter Working Group was established to draft a Code of Practice for the industry in relation to behind the meter products, now known as the New Energy Tech Consumer Code. The New Energy Tech Consumer Code will be a voluntary code but is likely to provide an advantage to signatories as consumers may perceive that signatories uphold better business practices and offer greater consumer protections than non-signatories. The New Energy Tech Consumer Code sets a minimum standard of customer service for consumers (residential and small business) looking to purchase behind the meter products. The Consumer Code covers the whole ‘customer lifecycle’ and sets out a number of commitments at each stage i.e. quoting, contracting, and operating. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) published its…
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