Better Regulation reform program

The AER's Better Regulation program aimed to deliver an improved regulatory framework focused on promoting the long term interests of electricity consumers. This followed from changes to the National Electricity and Gas Rules that were published by the Australian Energy Market Commission on 29 November 2012.

Quick information about the Better Regulation program

Overview of the Better Regulation reform package

On 7 April 2014 the AER released its final publication as part of the Better Regulation program: Overview of the Better Regulation reform package. This document provides an overview on how the reforms work together as a package of measures to promote the long term interests of consumers, and how they interact with each other and other parts of the regulatory landscape. The paper is intended as a useful starting point for stakeholders wanting a summary of the key outcomes of the Better Regulation process. 

AER Overview of the Better Regulation reform package (2 formats available)

As part of the Better Regulation program the AER:

  • Published a series of guidelines in November and December 2013 which set out our approach to regulation under the new rules.
  • Established a Consumer Reference Group to make it easier for consumer representative groups to have input into the Better regulation consultative process without necessarily writing formal submissions.
  • Established a Consumer Challenge Panel within the AER on 1 July 2013. The Panel provides an independent consumer perspective to challenge the AER and network service providers during determination processes.
WorkstreamPurpose
Expenditure forecast assessment guidelineAssessing expenditure proposals from businesses.
Rate of return guidelinesDetermining the allowed rate of return businesses earn on their investments.
Expenditure incentives guidelineCreating the right incentives to encourage efficient spending by businesses.
Consumer engagement guideline for network service providersImplementing consumer engagement strategies that are effective for all stakeholders.
Shared asset guidelineSharing the revenue networks earn from shared assets with consumers.
Confidentiality guidelineManaging confidential information for an effective regulatory determination process.
Power of choice implementationEnsuring network companies are innovating and exploring demand management solutions. This includes our Regulatory Investment Test for Distribution (RIT-D).
Consumer reference groupFacilitate consumer input in the Better regulation project.
Consumer challenge panelProvide an independent consumer perspective to challenge the AER and network service providers during determination processes.

Guideline factsheets

The AER published its final guidelines over November and December 2013. Accompanying each guideline is a two page factsheet.

Previous Better Regulation publications

Overview papers

The AER published its first overview paper called Better Regulation: an integrated package on 13 May 2013. It was a high level overview of the Better Regulation program and tied all our work together by explaining what the different workstreams were and how we saw them interacting.

Following the release of the draft guidelines for consultation, the AER published a document called Better Regulation: reform package update on 30 August 2013. The document was an overview of the program, structure of the package, consultation, and key decisions to date.

AER Better Regulation - Reform package update - August 2013 (2 formats available)

The link to our final overview paper Overview of the Better Regulation reform package is at the top of this page.

Draft guideline factsheets

The AER published several of its draft guidelines for consultation throughout July and August 2013. Accompanying each draft guideline was a two page factsheet.

Better Regulation updates and consultation

Monthly newsletter

The AER published a newsletter update each month to inform stakeholders of our progress in the Better Regulation program. Our newsletter update highlighted the previous month’s events, and the current month’s upcoming events. We also had a ‘spotlight’ each month with more information on one of our Better Regulation projects.

AER Better regulation update - Newsletter - February 2013 (2 formats available)

AER Better regulation update - Newsletter - March 2013 (2 formats available)

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - April 2013 (2 formats available)

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - May 2013 (2 formats available)

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - June 2013 (2 formats available)

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - July 2013 (2 formats available)

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - August 2013 (2 formats available)

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - September 2013 (2 formats available)

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - October 2013 (2 formats available)

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - November 2013 (2 formats available)

Calendar

The AER published its schedule of events showing when each workstream planned to publish papers and hold workshops. 

Better Regulation stakeholder forum - 18 December 2012

The AER held a videoconference forum on 18 December 2012 to discuss our work program and the consultation process that we are planning. Prior to the forum an issues paper was released on 10 December 2012 with more information on the guidelines and our plans for the consultation processes for each work stream.

AER Better regulation issues paper - December 2012 (2 formats available)

Contact Better Regulation

If you have any general comments, questions or feedback on the Better Regulation program, please send an email to AERinquiry@aer.gov.au. If you are looking for information about specific workstreams please follow the links to each workstream's web page in the projects section above.