Compliance Quarter’s Submission to the AER’s Review of the Compliance Procedures and Guidelines

Compliance Quarter’s Submission to the AER’s Review of the Compliance Procedures and Guidelines

AU Energy Compliance
On 11 April 2024, Compliance Quarter put forward its submission on proposed changes to the AER Compliance Procedures and Guidelines. The AER is reviewing its Compliance procedures and guidelines, which set out the manner and form in which energy businesses in jurisdictions that have adopted the National Energy Retail Law must submit compliance information and data to the AER. We argue that there should be consideration of measures to incentivise early reporting of potential breaches. These may, for example, take the form of firm discounts to the maximum civil penalty that can result from non-compliance. Clearly, it is the obligation of entitles to comply and to report however as in other spheres, incentives make a difference and can influence behaviour. While changes would be required at the legislative level, we argue…
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A Guide to the Role of the Metering Coordinator

A Guide to the Role of the Metering Coordinator

AU Energy Compliance
In the complex landscape of the electricity market, the role of the Metering Coordinator (MC) is crucial for ensuring the accurate measurement and efficient coordination of metering services. With the National Electricity Rules (NER) as the guiding framework, AEMO has published a guide to the role of a metering coordinator and this article serves as a summary of that role drawing on the guide. Understanding the Purpose and Scope: The Guide to the Role of the Metering Coordinator is specifically designed to meet the requirements of clause 7.3.1(c) of the NER. It serves as an authoritative resource to clarify the roles and responsibilities of MCs and provides a clear roadmap for authorized procedures under the NER. It is important to note that the NER and the National Electricity Law take…
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The State of the Energy Market 2023: Observations and Insights

The State of the Energy Market 2023: Observations and Insights

AU Energy Compliance
The energy market is an ever-evolving landscape, dictated by a complex interplay of market forces, consumer behaviours, and regulatory interventions. The 'State of the Energy Market 2023' report, published by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), provides a comprehensive evaluation of the market's current state, offering valuable insights into the retail energy markets, market regulations, energy affordability, and the role of the energy retailer. The Role of Energy Retailers Energy retailers sit at the crucial intersection of the energy supply chain, linking energy generation, distribution, and end consumers. They purchase electricity and gas either directly from suppliers or through wholesale markets and sell it to residential and small business customers. As noted in the 'State of the Energy Market 2023' report, "Retailers are exposed to financial risk through spot price volatility…
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Key points from Executive Board Member Geoff Summerhayes’ speech to the Financial Services Assurance Forum- Lessons for Energy Sellers

Key points from Executive Board Member Geoff Summerhayes’ speech to the Financial Services Assurance Forum- Lessons for Energy Sellers

AU Energy Compliance
Cyber threats are accelerating and evolving rapidly. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in online activity and remote working, providing more opportunities for cyber criminals to attack. Boards and internal audit functions often lack understanding and expertise in cyber security, leaving organisations vulnerable. To address this, APRA has released a new Cyber Security Strategy for 2020 to 2024. It aims to: Establish a baseline of cyber controls including information sharing and incident response. The goal is to address basic cyber hygiene issues, foster collaboration, and ensure organisations are prepared for breaches. Enable boards and executives to properly oversee cyber risks. APRA will provide guidance and increase scrutiny of cyber governance. Boards need to understand cyber risks and take action. Internal audit functions also need to strengthen their cyber…
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Australian Government Proposes National product stewardship scheme for solar photovoltaic systems and small electrical and electronic equipment

Australian Government Proposes National product stewardship scheme for solar photovoltaic systems and small electrical and electronic equipment

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Government has released a discussion paper outlining their proposal for a national regulated product stewardship scheme for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and small electrical and electronic equipment (SEEE). The scheme aims to reduce the environmental and health impacts of electronic waste (e-waste) by requiring importers and producers to take responsibility for managing their products at end-of-life. The Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, said “E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream globally. This scheme will provide Australian households and businesses with sustainable ways to dispose of their e-waste and support Australia’s transition to a circular economy.” Under the proposed scheme, corporations importing or manufacturing SEEE or PV systems above a certain threshold would be required to join the scheme and pay fees to fund services like free e-waste drop-off points…
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Empowering Change: New Obligations for Energy Retailers to Support Customers Affected by Family Violence

Empowering Change: New Obligations for Energy Retailers to Support Customers Affected by Family Violence

Consultation
As of May 1, 2023, significant changes to the National Energy Retail Rules will come into effect, placing new obligations on energy retailers to better support customers impacted by family violence. This landmark rule change, spearheaded by the Australian Energy Market Commission, aims to protect residential and small business customers from the exploitation of essential services by perpetrators. In response to these amendments, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has released an interim guidance note detailing their expectations for retailers' adherence to the new family violence provisions. This article explores the key messages from the AER's guidelines, such as customer identification, safety and risk considerations, staff training, and the necessary steps for compliance. As the energy sector navigates these transformative changes, our team stands ready to provide assistance in reviewing and…
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AEMO Suspends Two Retailers

AEMO Suspends Two Retailers

AU Energy Compliance
On Wednesday, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) issued two separate notices suspending Mojo Power and QEnergy from all trading in the National Electricity Market, effective midnight on Tuesday night. The reasons for the suspension were not stated. Later that day, AEMO lifted the suspension orders for both retailers. Mojo Power, which is based in Sydney, is a smart solar and renewables-focused company that aims to challenge market incumbents and offer customers a more solar and green energy-aligned approach to home energy. QEnergy, based in Brisbane, offers one of the cheapest retail deals in the market, mostly servicing small and medium businesses in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, as well as residential customers. Australia's energy market crisis has claimed a number of smaller retailers including Elysian Energy, Social Energy…
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An overview of the Australian electricity market

An overview of the Australian electricity market

AU Energy Compliance
The electricity market in Australia is an important and complex system that plays a significant role in the national economy. It is comprised of a mix of private and public sector stakeholders, each of whom has a different role to play in the functioning of the market. In addition, the market is regulated by a number of government agencies and regulatory bodies to ensure that it operates in the best interests of consumers. In this, the first of a series, we will introduce the key market participants. The electricity market in Australia is made up of a variety of participants, including electricity generators, electricity retailers, network businesses, traders, and consumers. Electricity generators are responsible for producing electricity, which is then sent to the national electricity grid. Generators typically use coal,…
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Consumers: front and centre of energy regulation

Consumers: front and centre of energy regulation

AU Energy Compliance
As the energy market continues to evolve and the ways in which energy is produced, stored, shared and consumed become ever more complex, it is essential that consumers remain front and centre of energy regulation. It is vital that consumers are aware of the changing landscape and their rights and responsibilities when it comes to energy use. The traditional energy market is being transformed as new technologies, such as solar panels and battery storage, become more widely used. This has resulted in a decentralisation of energy production, with consumers able to produce, store and sell energy independently. This decentralisation has led to an increase in the number of small-scale energy producers, such as households and businesses, producing and selling their own energy. While once upon a time consumers were simply…
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AER releases latest Wholesale Markets Quarterly

AER releases latest Wholesale Markets Quarterly

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has published its latest wholesale markets quarterly report that looks at the wholesale gas and electricity markets in the period from July to September 2022.  During the relevant period, gas and electricity prices continued to fluctuate and remained high compared to previous years.  Gas and electricity prices halved in August from record levels in July but have remained consistently high. In June and July, higher winter demand at the time of acute tightening of gas and electricity supply drove wholesale energy prices to record levels.  At the same time international: gas prices climbed sharply and the Iona southern gas storage dropped to record low levels.  That scarcity of gas influenced by domestic gas and electricity prices.  Exacerbating the situation, a number of coal plants experienced…
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