The Energy Innovation Toolkit (EIT) supports energy innovators and start-ups navigate complex regulatory frameworks, and trial new products and services that will deliver greater choice and cheaper energy options for consumers.
The AER is delivering the EIT alongside the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO),Victoria’s Essential Services Commission (ESCV) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
There are three components to the EIT regulatory sandbox:
- An Innovation Enquiry Service providing innovators with guidance on how their new technologies or business models can be delivered under the current regulatory framework.
- A trial waiver allowing the AER to grant a time-limited trial waiver for eligible trial projects, exempting an innovator from having to comply with specified laws and rules for a period of time to allow a trial to proceed. Innovators are required to submit a form via the sandboxing website explaining the details of their project and how it meets the necessary criteria. A trial waiver is subject to a number of conditions, including consumer protection measures, reporting requirements and other obligations that may be specific to the trial.
- A trial rule change process allowing the AEMC to temporarily change existing rules or introduce a new rule to allow a trial to proceed. Trial rule change requests may be submitted via the sandboxing website and will be forwarded to the AEMC to be assessed.
Register of current and proposed trial waivers
The AER may grant a time-limited trial waiver exempting an innovator from having to comply with specified laws and rules for a period of time. View current trial waiver certificates and trial waiver applications under consultation on the Energy Innovation Toolkit website.
These functions are supported by a website – energyinnovationtoolkit.gov.au – where innovators can discover helpful guidance about the energy market, including:
- An interactive regulation navigator which provides on-the-spot guidance on key regulatory obligations which may apply to certain scenarios inputted by users
- Detailed step-by-step case studies based on likely scenarios to assist innovators in planning similar projects, and
- Other simple, clear information about the Australian energy environment, including infographics, helpful links to relevant agencies, definitions of key terms and much more.
Applications for trial waivers, trial rule changes, and for guidance through the Innovation Enquiry Service are now open. All applications must be made through the EIT website Services page, which links to the secure AER web portal.
On 25 January 2023 we released our final Trial Projects Guidelines and explanatory statement, which set out our proposed approach to delivering trial waivers and assessing applications.