The Retailer Reliability Obligation (RRO) supported by AER guidelines provides detail on how the various stages of the RRO operate. To support timely implementation of the RRO, the AER was required to make a number of its Guidelines as ‘interim Guidelines’ in the months following commencement. The Rules require each of these to be transitioned from interim to final following the rules consultation procedures.
The interim Forecasting Best Practice Guideline was transitioned to final in August 2020 as part of the AER’s work package to make the Integrated System Plan actionable. The remaining final guidelines - the Reliability Instrument Guidelines, Market Liquidity Obligation (MLO) Guidelines, and Contracts & Firmness Guidelines - and the new AER Reliability Compliance Procedures & Guidelines, were previously scheduled by the AER for consultation and release by June 2021.
The Energy Security Board’s (ESB) Post 2025 Market Design Directions paper, released on 5 January 2021, presented a number of potential changes to the RRO, and by implication to the role and nature of the AER’s Guidelines. These include: triggering arrangements (Reliability Instrument Guidelines); contracting and reporting obligations (Contracts and Firmness Guidelines, Reliability Compliance Procedures and Guidelines); and the market liquidity obligation (MLO Guidelines).
Following consultation with stakeholders, the AER will now defer consultation on these four guidelines until Energy Ministers have considered the ESB’s final recommendations on the Post 2025 Electricity Market Design. This will allow further consideration of the appropriate nature and scope of consultation on Guidelines made under the current rules in the context of future directions for the RRO. The AER also acknowledges that stakeholders have numerous competing demands to participate in consultation this year.
The effect of this delay is that the interim Reliability Instrument Guidelines, MLO Guidelines and Contracts & Firmness Guidelines will remain in place to support the current rules in the intervening period, and likely at least until January 2022. The AER will continue to monitor and enforce the RRO under relevant provisions of the National Electricity Law and Rules.