New NECF derogations for NSW Retailers

New NECF derogations for NSW Retailers

AU Energy Compliance
The passing of the NSW Government’s Electricity Infrastructure Investment Bill 2020 dominated headlines at the end of 2020. However, with much less pomp and ceremony, NSW also introduced further derogations to the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF).     Until October 2020, there existed (in the Electricity Supply Regulations) a prohibition on the remote disconnection of small customers in NSW. However, a combination of new regulations has ended this blanket prohibition while imposing additional compliance obligations on retailers operating in NSW. The new provisions can be found in the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2018 and the Electricity Supply (General) Regulation 2014 and set out requirements for retailers and metering providers in respect of remote disconnection and reconnection of small customers. The key changes relevant to retailers are summarised below.…
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June Energy Update: National Energy Guarantee Detailed Design

June Energy Update: National Energy Guarantee Detailed Design

AU Energy Compliance
Regulation for the National Electricity Market jurisdictions (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Tasmania) is complex. In any given month there are often dozens of consultations initiated, and many more important announcements that energy businesses need to be on top of. Furthermore, there is no central repository of that information. That is why every month we provide a regulatory update informing you of all the significant announcements and consultations for that month. This update covers important updates from 6 June through to the 6 July.     Photo by Breno Machado on Unsplash By Dr Drew Donnelly, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter We begin with changes at that apply across the National Electricity Market, including rule changes, then look at announcements on a state-by-state basis. 1. National Energy Guarantee:…
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Developments in the Victorian Retail Energy Market

Developments in the Victorian Retail Energy Market

AU Energy Compliance
In this article, we look at two regulatory announcements for the Victorian Retail Energy Market over the last ten days or so. The first is the Essential Services Commission’s (ESC) Victorian Retail Energy Market Update January to March 2018 (the first quarter update). The second is an update on embedded network regulation in Victoria.[1] Photo by Joshua Peacock on Unsplash By Dr Drew Donnelly, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter Below are the key headlines from the 2018 first quarter update: A decrease in standard retail contracts in the Victorian Retail Energy Market Standard contract/standing offer contracts are a type of retail contract that provides customers with certain guaranteed consumer protections. Under the Energy Retail Code, retailers in Victoria are only permitted to publish new standard contract (or standing offer) prices twice a year. The ESC…
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How does Australia compare to California when it comes to Electric Vehicle (EV) subsidies?

How does Australia compare to California when it comes to Electric Vehicle (EV) subsidies?

AU Energy Compliance
Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced approval of $738 million worth of projects for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in California.[1] In today’s article, we briefly look at the projects that are being funded and compare this with the state-of-play in Australia for subsidised EV. By Dr Drew Donnelly, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter The CPUC approval CPUC approved funding for the following projects: San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) Residential Charging Program ($137 million): This provides rebates for residential customers to install home charging stations; SDG&E’s Residential Grid Integrated Rate: This would offer customer participating in the program above the option to enrol in an EV-only electricity rate that varies hourly based on day-ahead forecasts; Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Direct Current Fast Charging Make-Ready Program ($22…
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New benchmark for solar feed-in tariffs in NSW

New benchmark for solar feed-in tariffs in NSW

AU Energy Compliance, Consumer
On 3 July, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) released its final report on the value of solar feed-in tariffs for 2018/2019[1]. We heralded the release of IPART’s final decision in an earlier article and encouraged our readers to make submissions on the issues paper. Photo by Olivier Fahrni on Unsplash By Alex Silcock, Senior Paralegal, Compliance Quarter Rooftop solar has become increasingly popular, with customers either using electricity generated by their own panels or selling the electricity generated back to the grid. ‘Solar feed-in tariffs’ refer to the amount customers receive from retailers for electricity that they export back to the grid. It is important to note that IPART does not set a uniform tariff that all retailers must adhere to. Rather, they set a voluntary ‘benchmark range’ which gives retailers…
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Are you compliant with the disconnection rules?

Are you compliant with the disconnection rules?

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) recently released summaries of compliance audits for 2017 in relating to customer disconnection and AER reporting processes.[1] In today’s article, we look at the audit outcomes and what retailers might do to ensure they are compliant with the disconnection rules. Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash By Dr Drew Donnelly, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter Background Under AER’s Compliance and Procedure Guideline (the Guideline), and the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR), retailers are required to report to AER on breaches of certain NERR obligations at prescribed intervals and in a prescribed manner. At the same time the Guideline sets out the rules for when the AER may require compliance audits to be carried out. The AER required that audits be carried out by five retailers in relation to the…
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Three innovation opportunities presented by the AEMC 2018 Retail Energy Competition Review

Three innovation opportunities presented by the AEMC 2018 Retail Energy Competition Review

AU Energy Compliance
In today’s article, our focus is not on any regulatory proposals, but three innovation opportunities for energy businesses that are suggested by AEMC’s observations in the Review. The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has just released its mammoth (351 page) review (the Review) of competition in retail energy markets for 2018.[1] In one sense, it is a depressing read. The overriding theme is increased consumer dissatisfaction and hardship as a result of retail price increases over the period. In response, AEMC has recommended various regulatory reforms to improve the efficient operation of the energy retail markets. Of course, there are already a plethora of initiatives underway at both the Commonwealth and State/Territory level with that stated goal. In our May Energy Update, we identified 17 (!) consultations initiated by government…
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What is the new Financial Benchmark Regime?

What is the new Financial Benchmark Regime?

Financial Services
On 12 June the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) announced the final regulatory regime for Financial Benchmarks. This regime, introduced through a 2018 amendment to the Corporations Act 2001, empowers ASIC to determine that certain benchmarks are ‘significant’ and to impose a licensing regime on the ‘administrators’ of those benchmarks. In today’s article, we ask, what is the new Financial Benchmark Regime? Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash By Dr Drew Donnelly, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter Background: What is a Financial Benchmark? A Financial Benchmark has been defined as: an index or indicator calculated from a representative set of underlying data or information, used as a reference price for a financial instrument or financial contract or to measure the performance of an investment fund.[1] Reliable Financial Benchmarks are crucial to the operation of…
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Paying electricity bills using Centrepay

Paying electricity bills using Centrepay

AU Energy Compliance
It is essential that all businesses in the energy industry understand their obligations to customers undergoing financial hardship. We talked about upcoming regulatory change around customer hardship policies here https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/are-you-paying-lip-service-to-your-customer-hardship-obligations/. An important aspect of the National Energy Retail Rules relating to customer hardship are the processes for customer payment using the ‘Centrepay’ system. In today’s article, we explain when a business needs to provide Centrepay as an option and the requirements for applying for approval to provide Centrepay. Photo by Carlo Trolese on Unsplash By Dr Drew Donnelly, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter Centrepay and associated obligations Centrepay is a bill-paying service that is free to use for Centrelink customers. Through Centrelink, a customer can choose to authorise deduction of regular amounts from their welfare payments to pay bills to an authorised business.[1] It…
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Fintech and Regtech Developments – March, April, May 2018

Fintech and Regtech Developments – March, April, May 2018

Financial Services
We last summarised regulatory changes for financial and regulatory technology (fintech and regtech) in February.[1] Since then there have been a bunch of exciting developments including the Inaugural RegTech Association’s #ACCELERATERegTech 2018 event[2]  and the regulatory approval of a new challenger bank in Australia.[3] We summarise some of the other important developments over the last few months below. Photo by Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash By Dr Drew Donnelly, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter  Open Banking Review and the Consumer Data Right We mentioned in our February update that Treasury was consulting on the final recommendations of the Open Banking Review. The submissions that were received can be viewed at https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2018-t247313/. In response to both the Open Banking Review and the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry Report Data Availability and Use, the Commonwealth Government has announced that…
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