The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has released Export Tariff Guidelines and an accompanying explanatory statement that will govern how distributors should develop and justify two-way pricing proposals.
The AER is required to make Export Tariff Guidelines under the Australian Energy Market Commission’s recent Access, pricing and incentive arrangements for distributed energy resources rule change. The rule change aims to facilitate small-scale solar into the grid and support the growth of batteries and electric vehicles. It allows for network energy businesses to propose two-way pricing, i.e. pricing on both consumption and export of electricity. Any proposal to introduce export charges requires approval from the AER under strict conditions.
The Export Tariff Guidelines (the Guidelines) include guidance on:
- customer protections
- the need for any two-way pricing proposals to be justified
- the potential structure of any two-way pricing proposals
- the AER’s process for approving or not approving any two-way pricing proposals
- the AER’s expectations of networks to consult with their customers if they plan to introduce two-way pricing
- the basic export level, or free export service, which must accompany any two-way pricing proposals.
The Guidelines are accompanied by an explanatory statement which explains how the AER considered stakeholder feedback on the Export Tariff Guidelines consultation paper and draft Export Tariff Guidelines.
Please note that distributors may only introduce two-way pricing via their AER-approved tariff structure statements. The Guidelines and explanatory statement are intended to provide guidance to distributors if or when they introduce two-way pricing. The AER’s decision to approve or not approve a tariff structure statement is binding.