An Embedded Network (Guideline) Refresher

An Embedded Network (Guideline) Refresher

AU Energy Compliance
If you own, operate or control a private embedded network, you will need to ensure that you hold the exemptions you require. In all of the Eastern States of Australia, this will mean that you will need a network exemption issued pursuant to the AER's Electricity NSP Registration Exemption Guideline (Network Exemption Guideline). In this post, we answer some of the most common questions when it comes to embedded networks that are regulated by the Network Exemption Guideline. When is a Network Exemption Required? Anyone who owns, controls or operates an embedded network will require registration or an exemption. As the AER notes, even the simple act of allowing a cleaning contract to plug in a vacuum in your office may be considered to be providing a distribution service under…
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Automated compliance under the microscope? AER initiates proceedings against Origin in the Federal Court.

Automated compliance under the microscope? AER initiates proceedings against Origin in the Federal Court.

AU Energy Compliance
This week the AER announced that it had initiated proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia. The AER alleges systemic failures in the automated processes that Origin is using concerning customers experiencing hardship and payment difficulties, in breach of the National Energy Retail Law and Rules. The AER state that Origin has implemented systems that result in Origin making unilateral changes to customers’ payment plans, failing to consider customers’ capacity to pay when establishing or changing payment plans, and cancelling payment plans in breach of Origin’s own hardship policies. Compliance is a heavy burden for those operating in the energy sector. Combined with hardship resulting from COVID and a motivated regulator with a range of new enforcement powers, we are destined to see more and more showdowns of this nature. Lessons…
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Minutes of Energy Ministers’ Meetings could become publicly available following a recent decision on the status of National Cabinet

Minutes of Energy Ministers’ Meetings could become publicly available following a recent decision on the status of National Cabinet

AU Energy Compliance
A recent decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) will be welcomed by those in the energy industry seeking clarity on the nation’s changeable climate change and energy policy. The decision of Patrick and Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Freedom of Information) [2021] AATA 271 (Patrick Decision) upheld a claim by Senator Rex Patrick to access certain National Cabinet documents under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. What is National Cabinet? The Prime Minister, along with the other State and Territory Ministers, established the National Cabinet on 13 March 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In May 2020, the Prime Minister announced the abolition of the previous peak intergovernmental body - the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), saying: “COAG is no more. It will be replaced by a completely new…
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The use of Machine Learning in Compliance

The use of Machine Learning in Compliance

AU Energy Compliance, Financial Services
The regulatory environment is evolving at a lightning pace. As a result, compliance officers must also keep up. To meet this challenge, AI applications have become more capable, particularly in regards to providing answers that are easy to interpret. As you might imagine, using an AI-powered system to process this data would be incredibly valuable for companies in a variety of fields—from financial institutions to insurance companies to tech firms. In compliance, the goal is to ensure regulatory compliance by identifying, evaluating and responding to regulatory requirements. The work can be challenging; firms and individuals often work in an environment without sufficient information to effectively meet goals and objectives. As artificial intelligence and automation become more prevalent in the world, it’s imperative that firms continue to utilize compliance know-how in…
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New Round of Enforcement Actions

New Round of Enforcement Actions

AU Energy Compliance
A fresh round of enforcement actions have been announced by the Essential Services Commission of Victoria (ESC). Energy sellers should review the announcements made by the ESC and ensure that they have adequate controls in place to avoid the same issues. Explicit Informed Consent On 26 July 2021, the ESC has announced that Simply Energy had paid penalty notices totalling $2.5 million after being issued 125 penalty notices. The penalty notices were issued to Simply Energy after two external sales agents allegedly undertook deliberate fraud to transfer 525 gas and electricity accounts at 264 properties without any contact to obtain explicit informed consent. Energy retailers are required to obtain explicit informed consent before transferring a customer. We've looked at the requirements relating to explicit informed consent in detail here and…
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