Electricity Retail Authorisation from the AER

Electricity Retail Authorisation from the AER

AU Energy Compliance
So you are considering obtaining an electricity retail authorisation from the AER and an electricity retail licence from Victoria, read on to learn about the process.It is an interesting time in the Australian energy market. The energy market is currently characterised by structural change and policy uncertainty. For some, this need for change equals opportunity. Below, we talk about the State of the Energy Market and some of the key steps you would need to take to become an electricity retailer (in the eastern states other than Victoria). If you're asking "How do I obtain an electricity retail licence?" then please feel free to contact us by clicking here and/or read on!  The Energy Market: Uncertainty and ChangeThe energy market in Australia is going through significant structural change (and a…
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AER releases new billing compliance checks for energy retailers

AER releases new billing compliance checks for energy retailers

AU Energy Compliance
We recently looked at changes to compliance reporting guidelines issued by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), today we examine three new compliance checks published by the AER that energy retailers should review.     By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter. The AER has released three new compliance checks setting out the obligations which must be met under the National Energy Retail Rules. The new compliance checks were issued on 28 June 2017 and cover: Bill content, frequency and payment method, (Compliance check #2017-01); Calculating and basis for bills, (Compliance check #2017-02); and Billing complaints and incorrect charges, (Compliance check #2017-03). The new compliance checks are available on the AER website at Retail Markets > Compliance. The information contained in each of the new compliance checks is based on the requirements contained…
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Exempt Sellers: the Requirement to hold an Electricity Retail Authorisation or exemption

Exempt Sellers: the Requirement to hold an Electricity Retail Authorisation or exemption

AU Energy Compliance
By Anne Wardell and Connor James, Compliance Quarter. A variety of businesses are involved in the sale of energy. These businesses include caravan parks, building managers, shopping centres, office buildings, airports, industrial parks and solar power providers. Below we look at when an electricity retail authorisation is required and when a person or business can operate under an exemption. Energy sellers in the Eastern States of Australia must either operate under licence or an exemption. The sale of energy, under the Retail Law, includes the sale of energy at cost, i.e. without profit. Our previous articles look at some of the changes proposed in this area. National Energy Consumer Framework The Eastern States (except Victoria) are governed by the National Energy Retail Rules (‘Retail Rules’) and National Energy Retail Law…
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Is Energy Regulation Fit for Purpose? Review of regulatory arrangements for embedded networks – AER submission

Is Energy Regulation Fit for Purpose? Review of regulatory arrangements for embedded networks – AER submission

AU Energy Compliance
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter. In a recent article, Embedded Networks under the spotlight, Connor James outlined the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) review of the regulatory arrangements for embedded networks. The AEMC released a consultation paper and sought submissions. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) lodged a submission on 17 May 2017. In this article I consider the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) submission. Paula Conboy, Chair of the AER, has provided a covering letter which usefully summarises the recommendations made in the submission. Attachment A provides detailed answers to the questions asked in the Consultation paper. The AER is of the view that the review ‘provides an opportunity to consider whether the benefits of embedded networks outweigh the detriment’[1] The submission identifies both areas for improvement in the regulatory framework…
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Embedded Networks Under the Spotlight

Embedded Networks Under the Spotlight

AU Energy Compliance
By Connor James, Compliance Quarter. The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is reviewing the regulatory arrangements for embedded networks. Embedded networks operate in a unique space from the regulatory perspective. Common examples of embedded networks include shopping centres, retirement villages, apartment complexes and caravan parks. Embedded networks are also found in commercial buildings. Below we discuss the AEMC review and the broad regulatory challenges with embedded networks. What is an embedded network? Embedded networks are private electricity networks connected to the distribution and transmission system of the national electricity market through a parent connection point (gate meter). Consumers within embedded networks are typically individually metered and sold electricity from the ENO. ENOs own network infrastructure and on-sell electricity from the gate meter within the embedded network to the occupants. There…
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Complaints Resolution for Exempt Customers

Complaints Resolution for Exempt Customers

AU Energy Compliance
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter. Small customers of authorised retailers and distributors of energy have access to free and independent dispute resolution through their state ombudsman. This is not the case for small customers of exempt energy sellers and exempt network service providers. These can be small customers who live in a caravan park, retirement village or high-rise apartment and receive energy by way of an embedded network which is private. There are numerous classes of deemed, registerable and individual energy sellers and network service providers. Although one of the conditions required for an exemption is an adequate dispute resolution system, this does not allow customers to access the ombudsman service, except in NSW. On 13 June 2017, the AER published an issues paper seeking stakeholders' views on the current…
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Changes to Energy Retail Reporting and Audit Obligations

Changes to Energy Retail Reporting and Audit Obligations

AU Energy Compliance
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter On 9 June 2017, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released the following documents: Compliance procedures and guidelines – Version 4 – June 2017, and The AER Practice Guide for Compliance Audits – June 2017. The revised guidelines incorporate new rules introduced by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), refine the reporting framework and provide new guidance material on compliance audits. Changes to reporting obligations An important change is to the name given to reports and reporting periods. Reports will now be referred to as Immediate, Quarterly or Half Yearly Reports. Consequently, the sections in the procedures and guidelines which deal with reporting have been amended in line with this change. This includes substantive amendments to Appendix A. The report and template contained in Appendix B…
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State of the Energy Market

State of the Energy Market

AU Energy Compliance
Today saw the release of the 2017 State of the Energy Market, a report published by the Australian Energy Regulator. There is a lot to digest in the AER's comprehensive and useful report. In this first post, I will briefly look at some of the key themes. It has been a challenging year for the industry, one that has seen significant structural and technological change. 'Technology change is impacting on the wholesale electricity and gas markets more than at any other time in the history of the NEM...' Paula Conboy—AER Chair. Retail and Wholesale Pricing Electricity retail pricing trended higher in 2016, in all states other than Victoria. As I noted in a previous post, significant increases are expected this financial year on top of the average 13 percent in…
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Selling Electricity: Licence Requirements

Selling Electricity: Licence Requirements

AU Energy Compliance
A variety of businesses are involved in selling energy. These businesses include caravan parks, building managers, shopping centres, office buildings, airports, industrial parks and solar power providers. Energy sellers in the Eastern States of Australia must either operate under licence or an exemption. The sale of energy, under the Retail Law, includes the sale of energy at cost, i.e. without profit. National Consumer Framework The Eastern States (except Victoria) are governed by the National Energy Retail Rules (‘Retail Rules’) and National Energy Retail Law (‘Retail Law’), implemented as part of the National Energy Consumer Framework. Obtaining an electricity retail authorisation is a complex and time-consuming process. Broadly, it requires that an applicant prove to the Australian Energy Regulator (‘AER’) that it can meet financial, operational, and technical requirements. An alternative…
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