AER releases consultation paper on transmission ring-fencing framework

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has released a consultation paper seeking stakeholder feedback on whether changes to the National Electricity Rules (NER) are required to limit any ability of electricity transmission network service providers (TNSPs) to discriminate in favour of themselves or an affiliate when providing connection services. The consultation paper focuses on the materiality of the problem and two options to address the potential for discrimination.

Invitation for submissions

We welcome submissions from interested parties on the consultation paper by 9 June 2023. Submissions should be emailed to

Alternatively, stakeholders can provide verbal feedback to AER staff. Please send an email to the above address to set up a meeting.


The AER is also conducting a survey of market participants (those who have connected or are in the process of connecting to the transmission network) to identify any actual or potential discrimination by TNSPs during the connections process.

The survey will help the AER’s assessment of the materiality of the problem and inform next steps.

Survey respondents have the option to request that their responses be kept anonymous, but the AER may use de-identified aggregated information from the survey to inform any possible rule change request.

The survey closes on 9 June 2023. Alternatively, connecting parties can discuss their survey responses with AER staff by emailing to set up a meeting.


On 1 March 2023, the AER published its Ring-fencing guideline (electricity transmission) (Version 4) following a review of the transmission ring-fencing arrangements.

During the review, some stakeholders raised concerns about the ability of TNSPs to discriminate against providers of contestable connection services due to their monopoly role in providing the non-contestable elements of a connection. This conduct could include favouring an affiliate of the TNSP over an unrelated provider of competitive connection services.

The AER was unable to require ring-fencing of these services, as the NER does not allow for ring-fencing of negotiated transmission services, the most common of which is the non-contestable component of connections.

Issued date: 
12 May 2023
AER reference: 
AC 48/23
General enquiries - Ring-fencing