This is a quick update on the Australian Energy Regulator’s recent announcements regarding Metering Coordinator requirements and the revised Exempt Selling Guideline.
By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter.
Metering Coordinator Rule Change
In line with the ‘Power of Choice’ rule changes, metering contestability was introduced to the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia on 1 December 2017.As part of this rule change, Financially Responsible Market Participants (usually market retailers) were required to appoint a Metering Coordinator for all of their connection points by 1 December 2017. Large customers have the option of appointing their own Metering Coordinator.
Why the change?
Before this rule change, it was generally only the Local Network Service Provider that had the responsibility for metering services for small customers. This restricted competition and reduced incentives for innovation and investment in metering services. Such innovation is particularly important in light of the way smart meter functions can be used to increase usage and cost transparency for customers.
What’s happening now?
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) will be requesting compliance reports from the Australian Energy Market Operator(AEMO) checking that there has been full compliance by 30 March 2018 (see https://www.aer.gov.au/communication/compliance-with-new-metering-rules-requirement-to-appoint-a-metering-coordinator). AER will consider action against any market retailer that has not complied by that date.
Exempt Selling Guideline
On 16 March the AER released its revised Retail Exempt Selling Guideline which came in to effect on the date of publication (see https://www.aer.gov.au/communication/aer-releases-revised-retail-exempt-selling-guideline-version-5-and-notice-of-final-instrument).
While the latest Guideline contains several changes, the most significant is the new requirement that those who sell or supply energy under an exemption to residential customers must be members of, or subject to, an ombudsman scheme, where the scheme allows them to do so.
For more information about this requirement see https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/proposed-new-dispute-resolution-obligations-exempt-sellers/.
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 For more information see Final Rule Determination National Electricity Amendment (Expanding competition in metering and related services) Rule 2015, pii.