The AER has published its draft Network Exemptions Guideline (version 7) for public consultation. The proposed changes include:
- introducing a voluntary primary registrant model where exemption holders can nominate one party to comply with specific conditions
- clarifying the exemption classes that apply to Small Generation Aggregators
- introducing a specified timeframe for when exemption holders must appoint an Embedded Network Manager
- clarifying existing requirements that conversions to embedded networks must only occur when prospective customers are fully informed of the impacts and provide their consent
- introducing new protections to customers with energy only contracts who experience difficulties paying network charges
- introducing a new requirement for exemption holders to take steps to ensure customers continue to have access to energy where a seller is no longer able to supply energy.
The draft guideline has also been streamlined to explain processes and make the document more accessible and easier to understand for readers with graphics and flow charts.
Our reasons for these proposed changes are set out in the Notice of Draft document.
Invitation for submissions
We are seeking submissions from interested stakeholders on the AER’s draft Network Exemptions Guideline (version 7) by 9 December 2022.
Embedded networks are private electricity networks which supply multiple homes or businesses (residential complexes, retirement villages, residential parks, shopping centres and office buildings) that are connected to the national grid through a single parent meter. The AER governs who can own, control or operate embedded networks by providing exemptions where registration with AEMO is not required, and the conditions these parties have to comply with, via its Network Exemptions Guideline.