Submission to the AER’s Network and Retail Exemption Guidelines Review

Submission to the AER’s Network and Retail Exemption Guidelines Review

AU Energy Compliance
Compliance Quater has lodged a submission with the AER addressing the questions raised by the AER but also drawing the AER's attention to a range of issues that we have identified within the guidelines. We've submitted that the AER should consider implementing a 'fast track approval' process for the approval of proposed retrofit conversions of sites where the resulting embedded network would clearly bring consumers better pricing and where the configuration of the network infrastructure facilitates consumers who wish to 'opt-out.' As energy sellers know, the regulatory framework is partly designed to set the minimum standards of conduct expected and to punish those that are non-compliant. We believe that it is time that incentives were built into the regulatory framework. Where energy sellers develop products or services that have a…
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Update on Victoria’s proposal to ‘ban’ embedded networks

Update on Victoria’s proposal to ‘ban’ embedded networks

AU Energy Compliance
In January we reported on updates to the Victorian Government’s proposal to ‘ban’ embedded networks within residential developments. The Expert Panel that was established by the Victorian Government to determine how to implement this ban has now produced a draft report. The Expert Panel is accepting submissions and the consultation period for the draft report closes on 6 August 2021 at 5 PM. The Expert Panel is particularly interested in submissions on the following: • The proposed requirement to have renewable or clean energy technologies and what this might look like in new residential private networks• The most cost-effective approach to upgrading internal metering and associated infrastructure in legacy (existing) embedded networks to readily enable a transition for customers to an on-market retailer of their choice• Reasonable timeframes for upgrading…
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AER’s 2021 to 2022 Compliance and Enforcement Priorities: Consumer Protection

AER’s 2021 to 2022 Compliance and Enforcement Priorities: Consumer Protection

AU Energy Compliance
#NECF, #Retailers, #ExemptOperators On 23 June 2021, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released five compliance and enforcement priorities for 2021 to 2022 with a major focus on protecting energy consumers. The AER Chair, Clare Savage, said that the AER will be monitoring retailers to ensure that they identify residential customers in financial difficulty and offer appropriate payment plans to those consumers who need assistance as one of the five key priorities. Commenting further, Clare Savage noted, "Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the AER has monitored consumer debt levels as well as the number of consumers that are in retailer hardship policies or have payment plans. It is concerning to see that while debt levels have increased, the number of consumers with payment plans or existing retailer hardship programs has not." The…
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Review of the AER’s Network and Retail Exemption Guidelines

Review of the AER’s Network and Retail Exemption Guidelines

AU Energy Compliance
#Embedded #AER On 18 May 2021, the Australian Energy Regulator published a consultation paper concerning a review of the AER's (Retail) Exempt Selling Guideline and Electricity Network Service Provider - Registration Exemption Guidelines. The consultation paper was published as a result of the review commenced in February 2021 into each of those respective guidelines. The stated objectives of the AER's review include to improve the clarity and readability of exemption requirements, to streamline the Network Exemption Guideline and to remove redundancies, to clarify concepts such as own, control, and operate, to introduce new standardised statements where information requirements need to be met, and to improve consistency between the two guidelines. Clearly, this review being conducted by the Australian Energy Regulator is of significant importance to all exempt and authorised retailers…
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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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