AER releases Draft Interim Contracts and Firmness Guidelines for the Retailer Reliability Obligation for consultation

Today the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released its Draft Interim Contracts and Firmness Guidelines for consultation. The guideline is one of six guidelines that the AER will develop to set out how it will exercise its functions under the Retailer Reliability Obligation.

When the Retailer Reliability Obligation is triggered, the National Electricity Rules will require retailers (and large customers who choose to opt-in) to procure electricity contracts to meet their share of electricity demand. Retailers must submit a record of their contracts to the AER in a Net Contract Position (NCP) report.

Different types of electricity contracts will be more or less effective at protecting a retailer from high prices. This is a contract’s “firmness”. Retailers must reflect this in their NCP report, by taking into account the firmness of each individual contract. The Draft Interim Contracts and Firmness Guideline sets out how a retailer should do this. The Guideline also details how and when a retailer must submit its NCP report to the AER.

The AER will publish the final Interim Contracts and Firmness Guidelines on 31 August 2019.

A final version of the Contracts and Firmness Guideline will be subsequently developed, using a full consultation process, and will be published 31 December 2020.

Invitation for Submissions

We invite interested stakeholders to make written submissions in response to any matter covered in this guideline, by the close of business 19 June 2019.

Submissions should be sent electronically to with the following title in the email: For Consultation – Draft Interim Contracts and Firmness Guideline.

Alternatively, submissions can be mailed to:

Mr Peter Adams
General Manager, Market Performance
Australian Energy Regulator
GPO Box 520
Melbourne Vic 3001

We prefer that all submissions be publicly available to facilitate an informed and transparent consultative process. Submissions will be treated as public documents and posted on our website unless prior arrangements are made with us to treat the submission, or portions of it, as confidential. Those wishing to submit confidential information are requested to clearly identify the information that is the subject of the confidentiality claim, and provide a non-confidential versions of the submission.

For further information regarding our use and disclosure of information provided to us, see the ACCC/AER Information Policy.

Issued date: 
23 May 2019
AER reference: 
AC 66/19
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