Review of the Authorisation and Exemption Framework

Review of the Authorisation and Exemption Framework

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Energy Regulator has published an issues paper titled Retail Authorisation and Exemption Review. Broadly, the Issues Paper considers the changing nature of the energy market, the risks posed by new products and services, and asks whether changes are needed to the Retail Authorisation and Exemption Framework. This is a major consultation that will have long-lasting ramifications for the energy market and consumers.  It builds on the work of the Energy Security Board, the Australian Energy Market Commission (particularly in relation to embedded network regulation) and prior work by the AER. The AER is undertaking a review of the Retail Authorisation and Exemption frameworks set out in the Retail Law.  The review arises as a result of the Energy Security Board’s (ESB) final advice to energy ministers in July…
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When can an energy retailer change prices for Victorian small energy customers?

When can an energy retailer change prices for Victorian small energy customers?

AU Energy Compliance
Clause 94 of the Energy Retail Code of Practice aims to provide small customers with certainty that tariffs payable under a market retail contract can only be increased by a retailer on a network tariff change date or otherwise as permitted by Clause 94. The General Rule Pursuant to subclause 2, a retailer must not increase any of the tariffs payable by a small customer under a market retail contract except with effect from a network tariff change date. Subclause 3 states that a retailer is not permitted to increase any tariffs payable by a small customer under a market retail contract with effect from a network tariff change date if the relevant contract is a fixed price period contract or the retailer is otherwise prohibited from doing so under the terms and conditions…
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Managing the compliance of contractors

Managing the compliance of contractors

AU Energy Compliance, Financial Services
Start with a risk assessment. A risk assessment is a means of identifying the risks that your business faces and assessing the likelihood of them occurring. It also involves determining the controls you currently have in place to manage those risks, as well as whether or not any additional controls are necessary. When you are considering if your contractors are a compliance risk, look at their role, responsibility, applicable regulatory penalties and existing controls. We've looked at the need for more comprehensive risk assessments in previous posts, if you don't have sufficient resources to conduct such an assessment consider hiring a third party to do so. The formality of the controls should depend on the risks. There are no hard and fast rules. You should design controls to achieve your…
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When should you hire a compliance manager?

When should you hire a compliance manager?

AU Energy Compliance, Financial Services
If you're wondering if it's time to hire a compliance manager, ask yourself how often you think about regulatory compliance and whether your business is across all regulatory obligations with appropriate controls in place. If the answer to the last question is not enough or no, it may be time to take on such an employee. A dedicated compliance manager can immediately free up precious time for other members of senior management by taking on the compliance burden. With a specific person tasked with staying up-to-date on regulation changes, communicating new requirements and emerging issues, developing and implementing policies and procedures as well as conducting routine audits, you'll have more resources to focus on growing your business. You know you need a compliance manager when... You want to avoid penalties…
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The AER’s Better Bills Guideline

The AER’s Better Bills Guideline

AU Energy Compliance
On 31 March 2022, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) published the Better Bills Guideline.  The Guideline creates binding and enforceable obligations on energy retailers in respect of their preparation and issuance of energy bills for small customers. This article summarises some of the key obligations of the Guideline. For detailed instructions on how to implement and comply with the Guideline, please get in touch. From 4 August 2022, Subrule 25(1) of the National Energy Retail Rules will require energy retailers, in preparing and issuing bills to small customers, to comply with the Better Bills Guideline.  The Guideline allows energy retailers to implement the new billing requirements as set out in Parts 3 and 4 over a transitional period.  Retailers can choose to continue to comply with the bill content requirements in…
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Australian Energy Regulator Releases the Results of its Latest Compliance Audits Under the National Energy Retail Law

Australian Energy Regulator Releases the Results of its Latest Compliance Audits Under the National Energy Retail Law

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has published results of its audits into Alinta Energy, Simply Energy, ReAmped Energy and Powershop with a focus on compliance with hardship and disconnection obligations.  The audit results provide important information to all energy retailers as to what is expected when it comes to compliance in these key areas.  The audit assessed the adequacy and effectiveness of compliance policies, procedures and systems in a number of key areas and assigned an overall grading of either adequate and effective, partially adequate and effective, or inadequate and ineffective. Simply Energy Simply Energy’s audit results contain a total of 12 findings and 12 recommendations.  The findings included: That a training matrix recording the training provided to agents had not been maintained;That the Simply Energy hardship policy had not…
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