Dispute resolution

The national energy regime includes a series of dispute resolution mechanisms that are overseen by the AER.

Customer connection disputes

The AER makes determinations on customer connection disputes with electricity distribution businesses under Part 10 of the National Electricity Law. Disputes arise when a customer is unable to reach agreement with a distribution business on the terms and conditions of connecting to the network.

In addition, the National Electricity (Victoria) Act 2005 makes the AER responsible for resolving disputes under that Act and the Electricity Industry Act 2000, and for making assessments under distribution business’ licence conditions.

Customer information

AER Factsheet - Connecting electricity or gas to your property for the first time [ DOCX (43.13 KB) | pdf (132.49 KB) ]

AER customer information - Connecting to electricity distribution networks & resolving connection disputes - last updated February 2016 [ docx (139.06 KB) | pdf (552.21 KB) ]

AER customer information - Connecting to gas distribution networks & resolving connection disputes - last updated February 2016 [ docx (160.72 KB) | pdf (316.33 KB) ]

Networks access disputes

The AER is the dispute resolution body for access disputes between a user or potential user of a pipeline and the pipeline service provider, under Chapter 6 of the National Gas Law.

A dispute may cover one or more aspects of access to a pipeline service. The prospective user, user or service provider may notify the AER, in writing, that an access dispute exists.

Information about how the AER resolves access disputes can be found in the Guideline for the resolution of distribution and transmission pipeline access disputes.

Disputes about the application of the regulatory investment test

The AER resolves disputes about the application of both the regulatory investment test for transmission (RIT-T) and regulatory investment test for distribution (RIT-D) by network businesses.

Information about how the AER resolves disputes  for the RIT-T and RIT-D can be found:

Both documents provide a summary of the process, each party, including the AER, must follow for the relevant dispute resolution process under the Electricity Rules. They also provide information on who may dispute a RIT-T or RIT-D assessment; what matters can be disputed; and how to lodge a dispute.  

Kangaroo Island Submarine Cable RIT-D dispute

On 23 January 2017, the AER received a written notification from the Commissioner of Kangaroo Island and the Kangaroo Island Council disputing the conclusions made in SA Power Networks final project assessment report (FPAR) for the Kangaroo Island submarine cable RIT-D. A copy of this notice has been published on the AER website. On 17 May, in accordance with the requirements under clause 5.17.5 of the National Electricity Rules (Electricity Rules), the AER published a determination that found SA Power Networks did not apply the RIT-D in accordance with the Electricity Rules, but that it was not required to amend its FPAR.

Wholesale energy market disputes (plus adviser resources)

The AER has appointed an independent dispute resolution adviser to administer dispute resolution provisions in the wholesale energy market. The provisions, in Chapter 8 of the National Electricity Rules and Part 15C of the National Gas Rules, contain mechanisms for dispute resolution between participants (as defined) including Australian Energy Market Operator.

The independent dispute resolution adviser (WEMDRA) provides guidance and resources in this dedicated section of the site.