AER seeking feedback on revised Draft Retail Exempt Selling Guideline

Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook


By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter. 


On 6 November 2017 the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released a revised Draft Retail Exempt Selling Guideline version 5 (Draft Guideline).

The proposed changes to the Guideline are to:

  • improve dispute resolution options for residential exempt customers by requiring exempt sellers with residential customers to be members of, or subject to, a relevant energy ombudsman scheme where they can be accommodated by the scheme,
  • place a clear obligation on exempt sellers to have complaints and dispute handling procedures, and
  • align a number of customer protections within the Guideline with the National Energy Retail Law.

The AER has invited submissions to be lodged by 19 December 2017. There is also a stakeholder forum due to be held on 14 December 2017. To attend the forum you need to email with details of your organisation, name and people attending. It will take place at the AER offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart and Townsville.

The Notice of Draft Instrument sets out details of the context in which the draft Guideline has been prepared, the issues involved, and the effects of the proposed changes.

At page 5 of the Notice the AER provides a useful summary of the proposed changes:

‘We propose a number of important Guideline amendments to facilitate access to energy ombudsman schemes for residential customers of exempt sellers in all jurisdictions and provide clear exempt seller obligations regarding complaints and disputes handling processes. We explain the proposed changes and their rationale in section 3.

Other amendments we propose will clarify aspects of the Guideline and conditions and better align key customer protections with those that apply to customers of authorised retailers, for example, those relating to:

  • obligation to supply
  • reconnection or re-energisation
  • payment plans
  • planned and unplanned outages’.

The amendments proposed are:

‘We propose amending the Guideline to give effect to two key changes to improve exempt customers’ dispute resolution options. These are to:

(i)           require exempt sellers that sell energy to residential customers to be members of, or subject to, the relevant energy ombudsman scheme/s where they are able to be accommodated by the relevant ombudsman scheme, and

(ii)          explicitly place obligations on exempt sellers to have in place appropriate complaints and dispute handing processes’ (see Section 3 at p 7).

This follows the consultation conducted In June and July 2017 in relation to their Issues Paper: Access to dispute resolution services for exempt customers. A number of submissions were lodged including from the major energy retailers, Caravan Parks Association of Queensland, Caravan and Camping Industry Association NSW, Manufactured Housing Industry Association of NSW, the state Ombudsman schemes, Tenants Union NSW, Shopping Centre Council and PIAC. All of the submissions are available at Access to dispute resolution services for exempt customers – June 2017.

Further information and copies of the Draft Retail Exempt Selling Guideline and the Notice of Draft Instrument are available on the AER website at Draft Retail Exempt Selling Guideline – November 2017.

More to explorer

Technicians installing photovoltaic solar panels on roof of house.

Compliance Quarter’s Submission to the AER’s Review of the Compliance Procedures and Guidelines

On 11 April 2024, Compliance Quarter put forward its submission on proposed changes to the AER Compliance Procedures and Guidelines. The AER is reviewing its Compliance procedures and guidelines, which set out the manner and form in which energy businesses in jurisdictions that have adopted the National Energy Retail Law must submit compliance information and data to the AER. We argue that there should be consideration of measures to incentivise early reporting of potential breaches. These may, for example, take the

person wearing foo dog costume

Obligations of Energy Retailers Regarding Best Offer Information

Energy retailers in Victoria have specific obligations under the Energy Retail Code of Practice to provide clear information to customers about their ‘best offer’ – that is, the plan that would minimize the customer‘s energy costs based on their usage history. The objective is to ensure small customers can easily understand whether they are on the retailer‘s best plan for them and how to access the retailer‘s best offer if not. One of the significant challenges in the energy sector (as in banking and elsewhere) is that customers

low angle photo of sydney opera house australia

Guide to the National Energy Retail Rules

The National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) are a set of rules that govern the sale and supply of electricity and gas by retailers to consumers in Australia, alongside the related National Energy Retail Law (NERL). The NERR came into effect on 1 July 2012 in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Commonwealth. South Australia followed on 1 February 2013, New South Wales on 1 July 2013, and Queensland on 1 July 2015. The NERR do not yet apply in

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *