How to Manage Multiple Compliance Deadlines: A Case Study

How to Manage Multiple Compliance Deadlines: A Case Study

AU Energy Compliance, NT Energy Compliance
Compliance managers in the energy sector are constantly juggling a large work load with competing deadlines. Managing time effectively is a core skill for compliance managers. In this article, we will present a hypothetical case study of a compliance manager in an energy retailer who has to juggle multiple compliance tasks and deadlines, and how they can use some strategies and tools to manage their workload and prioritise effectively. We will also share some insights and tips from Compliance Quarter, a consultancy that helps energy businesses with regulatory compliance. The Case Study Meet Alice, a compliance manager in a medium-sized energy retailer that operates in several states and territories. Alice is responsible for ensuring that the retailer complies with the relevant laws, rules, codes, and standards that apply to its…
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How to Avoid Compliance Risks by Effective Communication: A Case Study

How to Avoid Compliance Risks by Effective Communication: A Case Study

Compliance, NT Energy Compliance
Compliance managers in the energy sector face many challenges in ensuring that their businesses comply with the regulatory framework. One of the most common and frustrating situations is when their advice is ignored or overridden by senior management or other stakeholders, exposing the business to potential compliance risks and penalties. In this article, we will present a hypothetical case study of a compliance manager in an energy retailer who faced this scenario and how it affected the business outcomes. We will also provide some practical recommendations for compliance managers on how to communicate effectively within the business and avoid compliance risks. The Case Study Anna is a compliance manager in a medium-sized energy retailer that operates in several states. She has been working in the energy sector for over 10…
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Modernising Electricity Regulation: The AES Framework and Embedded Networks in Western Australia

Modernising Electricity Regulation: The AES Framework and Embedded Networks in Western Australia

Embedded Networks, WA Energy Compliance
Background The existing licensing framework overseeing the sale and supply of electricity in Western Australia (WA) has struggled to adapt to the rapid expansion of emerging and atypical electricity business models in recent years. To address this, in 2019, the then Minister for Energy commissioned Energy Policy WA to assess the regulatory framework in Western Australia. In 2020, Energy Policy WA initiated consultations on a proposed regulatory framework for various categories of 'alternative electricity services' called the Alternative Electricity Services (AES) registration framework. This framework aims to apply customer protection obligations to persons providing electricity services through atypical business models not covered by the existing licensing framework, or where the current framework is deemed inadequate. Legislative amendments to the Electricity Industry Act 2004 (WA) to give effect to the AES…
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How to Choose a New Billing System for Energy Retailers

How to Choose a New Billing System for Energy Retailers

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance, NT Energy Compliance, NZ Energy Compliance
Billing is a vital part of the energy retail business. It involves calculating and collecting the charges for the energy services provided to the customers, as well as complying with the regulatory obligations and reporting requirements of the energy market. A good billing system can help the energy retailer to improve its operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and competitive edge. However, many energy retailers are struggling with their existing billing systems, which may be outdated, unreliable, or inadequate for the changing needs and expectations of the market. Some of the common problems that energy retailers face with their billing systems are: Lack of flexibility and functionality. The billing system may not be able to handle the complexity and diversity of the energy products and services, such as time-of-use tariffs, demand response…
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AER hardship review concludes there is room for improvement

AER hardship review concludes there is room for improvement

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance
Introduction The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) conducted a comprehensive hardship compliance review of several energy retailers, assessing their adherence to obligations towards customers facing financial hardship under the National Energy Retail Law and the National Energy Retail Rules. AER powers The AER, under section 206 of the National Energy Retail Law, holds the authority to issue compulsory notices to energy retailers. This review was a key project under the AER's 2022-23 Compliance and Enforcement Priority. Key findings of the review Identifying hardship customers: Some retailers were found to inadequately identify customers experiencing payment difficulties, with an over-reliance on customers to self-identify. In contrast, other retailers had proactive systems to identify and support such customers effectively. Informing customers of hardship policies: There was variable compliance in informing customers about the retailer’s…
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Voluntary Embedded Network Code of Practice – Western Australia (WA)

Voluntary Embedded Network Code of Practice – Western Australia (WA)

WA Energy Compliance
Background The Voluntary Embedded Network Code of Practice (the Code) was developed by Energy Policy WA, responsible for developing the policy and regulatory framework for the electricity sector in Western Australia. This Code aims to provide similar customer protections and service standards to embedded network customers as those supplied by licensed electricity retailers in Western Australia. During the initial voluntary period of 6 months (with possible extension), learnings from this Code will help inform the development of a mandatory code of practice for alternative electricity services (AES), which may apply to embedded network sellers and other emerging business models that fall outside the licensing framework. The AES framework is expected to be implemented in late 2024 or early 2025. The decision paper outlines feedback received from key stakeholders during the…
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The NT Utilities Commission releases Decision Paper on stage 2 of electricity licensing regime review

The NT Utilities Commission releases Decision Paper on stage 2 of electricity licensing regime review

Compliance, NT Energy Compliance
In 2022, the Utilities Commission of the Northern Territory (the Commission) commenced a review of the Territory’s licensing regime which aims to clarify and enhance the operation of the licensing regime.  The review is being undertaken in three separate components (stages): Stage 1: a review of the coverage, relevance and flexibility (scope and design) of the licensing regime Stage 2: a review of the consistency, efficiency and effectiveness of the form and content of licences Stage 3: a review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission’s licensing and related reporting The Decision Paper released in August 2023 marked the completion of Stage 1, focusing on refining the scope and design of the regime. This Decision Paper, released in January 2024, finalises stage 2, presenting the Commission’s decisions on new…
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How to Build an Effective Energy Retailer Compliance Program

How to Build an Effective Energy Retailer Compliance Program

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance, NT Energy Compliance
It is very difficult for energy retailers who are operating independently of one another to understand what an effective compliance management program is. Typically, the only feedback that they receive is from regulators when something goes wrong i.e. when there is a breach that they are required to report on, and they subsequently go through an investigation and enforcement process. Regulators themselves do not fully understand the compliance function’s roles and responsibilities- they typically see the tail end, what goes wrong, and not the work that goes in to avoiding non-compliance. Compliance Quarter has the advantage of having worked with a number of energy retailers and as a result is in a unique position in being able to explain what an effective compliance program looks like. So, what are some…
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Identification of Customers Affected by Hardship: Rules and Steps for Retailers

Identification of Customers Affected by Hardship: Rules and Steps for Retailers

AU Energy Compliance
In the retail sector, particularly within the energy market, identifying customers experiencing hardship and providing appropriate assistance is not only social obligation but also a regulatory requirement. This article outlines the specific rules that apply generally to retailers and the steps they should take to assist customers facing hardship, as stipulated by the National Energy Retail Rules Version. Understanding Hardship in the Retail Context A retailer's customer hardship policy must include a clear description of the process for assessing the eligibility of a customer for its hardship program. This process is crucial as it determines which customers are in need of assistance. A challenge that is faced by consumers is the understandability of a retailer's hardship policy. Such policies seek to translate complex regulatory obligations into language that can be understood and…
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The Victorian Renewable Energy Condition (embedded networks)

The Victorian Renewable Energy Condition (embedded networks)

Embedded Networks, Victorian Energy
In response to an enquiry into embedded networks in Victoria, the Victorian government gazetted the 2022 General Exemption Order with new requirements for residential embedded network. Chief among those was the 'Renewable Energy Condition' that applies to any entity operating under the VR2 exemption. Let's delve into the specifics of when this condition applies, how it operates, and the implications for compliance. Anyone who proposes to rely on the VR2 exemption must ensure that they obtain independent legal advice- noting that this article is a summary and is not intended to be an exhaustive review of relevant compliance obligations. Applicability of the Renewable Energy Condition The renewable energy condition applies to new embedded networks with 10 or more residential customers. An embedded network is a private electricity network that serves multiple premises and is…
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