AER Approves Network Tariffs

AER Approves Network Tariffs

Uncategorized
#ExemptSuppliers, #AuthorisedRetailers On 14 May 2021, the Australian Energy Regulator announced that it had approved distribution tariffs for distributors in various states including New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland. Electricity bills are made up of a number of components which include wholesale cost, retail margin, and network charges. The majority of a residential retail bill is made up of network charges and so, the AER's determination will have a material impact on the price paid by consumers for electricity. Queensland In the case of Queensland, the AER approved the 2021 to 2022 electricity distribution tariffs proposed by Energex and Ergon Energy in accordance with their relevant 2020 to 2025 distribution determinations. The determinations set revenues that those distributors can recover to reflect their cost of delivering electricity supply to…
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AGL’s Customer Hardship Audit

AGL’s Customer Hardship Audit

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On 7 May 2021 the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released the results of the latest compliance audit under the National Energy Retail Law. AGL Energy Ltd carried out an audit to assess compliance with its hardship, payment plan and disconnection obligations for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 April 2020. With the exception of one instance of non- compliance, the audit found that AGL complied in all material respects with its hardship, payment plans, and disconnection obligations. AGL rectified the issue giving rise to the partial compliance by updating its retail systems. Hardship Obligations Part Two of the National Energy Retail Law and Parts Three and Six of the National Energy Retail Rules set out obligations that retailers have in relation to payment plans, hardship policies, debt recovery, and…
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Compliance Reporting to the Australian Energy Regulator

Compliance Reporting to the Australian Energy Regulator

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Energy Regulator's Compliance Procedures and Guidelines-Version 6 sets out the matter and form that retailers must submit compliance information and data to the AER. Retailers are required to submit information relating to their compliance with the National Energy Retail Law, National Energy Retail Rules, and National Energy Retail Regulations. Polices, systems and procedures The Retail Law requires that regulated entities establish and observe policies, systems, and procedures in accordance with the AER Compliance Procedures and Guidelines. Pursuant to the guideline, retailers must ensure that they are able to report accurately on their compliance in the manner and form required by the guidelines. Policies, systems and procedures must be established and operate in a manner and form consistent with the relevant Australian Standard AS/ISO 19600-Compliance Management Systems. One of…
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The Presentation of Electricity Retail Offers in NECF

The Presentation of Electricity Retail Offers in NECF

AU Energy Compliance
This article looks at the operation of the AER's Retail Pricing Information Guidelines (April 2018 - Version 5.0). The purpose of the Guideline is to provide guidance to retailers in the presentation of standing offer prices and market offer prices with the objective of assisting small customers in considering and comparing standing offer prices and market offer prices available. The genesis of the Guideline is section 61(1) of the National Energy Retail Law. Retailers looking to advertise or market offers may also need to consider the ACCC's Electricity Retail Code. The Retail Code is not considered in this article. The AER Pricing Guidelines refer to individual plans being plans that are available to a specific customer. The purpose of the Pricing Information Guideline is to enable a customer to compare…
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AER: The Final Statement of Expectations

AER: The Final Statement of Expectations

AU Energy Compliance
On 24 March 2021, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) announced that it had extended its COVID-19 energy protections for a limited time. The AER's original Statement of Expectations was introduced at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The Statement of Expectations has been updated a total of four times and applies to households and small businesses in Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania. The Statement of Expectations sets out the expectations that the AER has with respect to how energy businesses deal with small business and residential customers who are potentially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The expectations include that all residential and small business customers who indicate that they may be in financial stress, be offered a payment plan or a hardship…
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AER’s audit: Provision of timely and accurate information

AER’s audit: Provision of timely and accurate information

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Energy Regulator has released the results of its latest compliance audits looking at the provision of timely and accurate information. The audits in question looked at compliance by EnergyAustralia, M2 Energy, Red Energy and 1st Energy pursuant to Section 282 of the National Energy Retail Law. The audit covered reporting activities for the 1 October to 31 December 2019 reporting period. The audits identified a number of areas in which the audited businesses could improve how they prepare, present, and report performance data to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). Both retailers and distributors must establish and implement policies and procedures to enable them to effectively monitor compliance with the National Energy Retail Law and the National Energy Retail Rules. One such requirement is found within Section 282 of…
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Injunction granted in relation to electrical contracting in QLD

Injunction granted in relation to electrical contracting in QLD

AU Energy Compliance
On 29 March 2021, Queensland's Electricity Safety Office was granted an injunction in the Southport Magistrates' Court preventing Mr Michael Kelly from doing further electrical contracting and electrical work in Queensland. The Court action followed an investigation by the Electrical Safety Office where it was alleged that Mr. Kelly contracted for and performed electrical work without appropriate licences between 21 March and 19 October 2019. Mr. Kelly is alleged to have used AirTasker to advertise the relevant services. The complaint and summons was issued by Queensland's independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor in relation to seven alleged contraventions of the Electrical Safety Act 2002. Mr. Kelly was served with the complaint and summons on 9 March 2021. The alleged contraventions included Sections 30/40C, 55, and 56 of the Electrical Safety…
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QLD Large-Scale Energy Storage Trial

QLD Large-Scale Energy Storage Trial

AU Energy Compliance
The Queensland Premier, the Honorable Annastacia Palaszczuk, has announced that five locations across regional Queensland will host a large scale, network connected battery trial aimed at supporting Queensland's uptake of renewable energy. The Premier noted that Queensland is putting solar on homes at world record rates with nearly one in three customers in detached houses now having solar PV. Commenting on the trial, the Premier noted, "Because Queensland has one of the highest levels of rooftop solar uptake in the world, we want to make sure that we're using this important source of renewable energy in the right way and our network is keeping up with demand." The energy storage trial is being conducted by Energy Queensland in five locations across Queensland which are Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Townsville, Yeppoon and…
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The ESC’s Victorian Energy Market Update: March 2021

The ESC’s Victorian Energy Market Update: March 2021

AU Energy Compliance
On 31 March 2021, the Essential Services Commission of Victoria published its Victorian Energy Market Update: March 2021. In the update the Essential Services Commission provides a summary of key events in terms of the energy market and its regulatory activities. Pricing The ESC reviewed energy retail offers published on 30 June 2020 and 31 January 2021 and found that there were substantial reductions in electricity and gas prices during that period. The ESC found that 7% of electricity market offers are market offers with conditional discounts, compared to a year ago where 33% of market offers had conditional discounts. The ESC welcomed this as a sign of ‘simpler and fairer energy contracts for Victorian consumers,’ following new rules, which were introduced from 1 July 2020, that introduced a cap…
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AEMC: Making Room for More Solar and New Energy Tech

AEMC: Making Room for More Solar and New Energy Tech

AU Energy Compliance
On 25 March 2021, the Australian Energy Market Commission released to draft determination that aims to assist with the integration of more small scale-solar and other energy technologies, such as batteries into the electricity grid. Commenting on the draft determination, AEMC Chief Executive Benn Barr said, "Within 10 years, half of all energy users will be using home energy options like solar. We must make sure this seismic shift doesn't leave anyone behind because every Australian, whether they have solar or not, deserves an affordable, sustainable power system." The draft determination aims to address the problem of 'traffic jams' on the electricity network which are occurring now. Those traffic jams are expected (by some) to get worse as more solar is connected to the grid. Blocking power exports because the…
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