AER commences consultation on approach to encouraging innovation in the energy market

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has today released an issues paper on our proposed approach to delivering the regulatory sandboxing toolkit for consultation.

Regulatory sandboxing aims to help energy innovators and start-ups navigate complex regulatory frameworks and enable the trial of new products and services that will deliver greater choice and cheaper options for consumers.

The issues paper outlines a new innovation enquiry service, which will provide innovators with informal guidance on how a new technology, service or business model can be delivered under current regulation. It also outlines a new regulatory waiver power for the AER, which will allow temporary exemptions from existing rules so that innovative trials can go ahead.

The issues paper seeks feedback on:

  • the development of the regulatory sandboxing toolkit
  • how the AER will deliver the innovation enquiry service
  • how we propose to assess trial waiver applications.

Regulatory sandboxing is delivered by the AER in partnership with the Australian Energy Market Commission, Australian Energy Market Operator and Victoria’s Essential Services Commission and is funded as part of the Government’s deregulation budget measures.

Online forums

The AER will host two online forums as part of our consultation, registration is now open and closes 26 November 2021.

  1. Information session for market participants: On Wednesday 1 December, 2-4 pm (AEDT) this online forum will provide information on regulatory sandboxing, outline key matters discussed in the issues paper and respond to stakeholder questions - register now.
  2. Workshop for innovators: On Wednesday 8 December, 3-5 pm (AEDT) this online forum will provide an opportunity for innovators to share views on our proposed approach to delivering regulatory sandboxing - register now.

Invitation for submissions

We invite submissions to our issues paper by 28 January 2022. We are particularly interested in the views of innovators that will benefit from our service, so that we deliver a function that suits your needs.

If you are unable to provide a written submission you can register for our innovator workshop or request a meeting with the AER at regulatorysandbox@aer.gov.au.

We ask that all submissions sent in an electronic format are in Microsoft Word or other text readable document form. To facilitate an informed and transparent consultative process we prefer all submissions to be publicly available.

Parties wishing to provide a submission that contains confidential information are requested to:

  • clearly identify the information that is the subject of the confidentiality claim, and provide reasons for the claim; and
  • provide a separate, non-confidential version of the submission in a form suitable for publication.

All non-confidential submissions will be placed on our website. For further information regarding our use and disclosure of information provided to us, see the ACCC/AER Information Policy.

Sector: 
Issued date: 
10 November 2021
AER reference: 
AC 173/21
Contact: 
General enquiries - Regulatory sandboxing, General enquiries - Regulatory sandboxing regulatorysandbox@aer.gov.au