The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) invites interested stakeholders to register for an introductory forum on the gas pipeline reforms, including an overview of the work that the AER will progress over the coming months.
Under the reforms, a range of new obligations will apply to gas pipeline service providers and the AER has a number of new functions and powers. As such, we intend to consult with stakeholders throughout the year on a number of workstreams, which are outlined below:
- Pipeline information disclosure guidelines – The AER is required to publish financial information disclosure guidelines under the new regulatory regime, which will apply to all pipeline service providers.
- New regulatory determination framework – The AER is now responsible for determining the regulatory treatment of a pipeline through applying a form of regulation test.
- Regulatory determination and elections guide – The AER is required to publish a guide setting out the AER’s powers and functions relating to the form of regulation test and greenfield determinations, the process to make an application, and the process the AER will follow when assessing an application.
- AER’s approach to self-initiated form of regulation reviews – The AER may initiate its own review on whether the regulatory treatment of a pipeline should change.
- Compliance and enforcement activities – The AER will review annual gas compliance processes and the current regulatory information order (RIO), as well as develop a compliance plan, industry education and audit program.
- New obligations on pipeline service providers – We intend to release a compliance bulletin in April 2023 explaining the new obligations applying to pipeline service providers such as publishing new information and complying with new competitive safeguard measures.
The forum will be held on Wednesday, 5 April 2023 via Microsoft Teams from 9.30–10.30 am (AEST). To receive an invite, please register your interest via the Eventbrite website by Tuesday, 4 April 2023. Enquiries should be emailed to AERgasreform@aer.gov.au.
The gas pipeline reforms to the National Gas Law and the National Gas Rules commenced on 2 March 2023, making a number of changes to the way that gas pipelines are regulated in Australia. These reforms are intended to deliver a simpler regulatory framework which continues to support the safe, reliable and efficient use of, and investment in, gas pipelines, while also:
- posing a more effective constraint on exercises of market power by pipeline service providers;
- facilitating better access to pipelines that would not otherwise provide such access, while minimising the cost and risks associated with regulation where there are no third party users;
- providing greater support for commercial negotiations between shippers and service providers; and
- streamlining governance arrangements.
An overview of the reforms is available from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website.