The Australian Energy Regulator has today published six updated guidelines following the recent stand-alone power system (SAPS) rule change to the National Electricity Rules.
The updated guidelines include:
- Regulatory Investment Test for Distribution Application Guidelines
- Connection Charge Guidelines
- Distribution Service Classification Guidelines
- Distribution Reliability Measures Guidelines
- Regulatory Investment Test for Distribution
- Expenditure Forecast Assessment Guideline
Our amendments will help all network customers receive the benefits of allowing SAPS to become part of the national electricity system, which include receiving the same consumer protections as grid-connected customers and benefitting from lower network charges.
We received three submissions during our consultation on the amendments. Our decision document describes what SAPS are, our review process, our consideration of the issues raised in the submissions, and what changes we made to each document.
The National Electricity Amendment (Regulated stand-alone power systems) Rule 2022 (Amending Rule), effective from 1 August 2022, removes existing barriers to distributed network service providers (DNSPs) providing stand-alone power systems (SAPS) to customers. It allows for DNSPs to provide SAPS to existing customers, and to offer to connect new customers to existing regulated SAPS where it is more economically efficient than connection to the interconnected national electricity system.
Ahead of the implementation of the Amending Rule on 1 August 2022, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) identified that the introduction of regulated SAPS may have implications for the AER’s existing guidelines. The AEMC therefore provided for a transitional period for the AER to consult on and update relevant guidelines. This ensured that our guidelines were consistent with the national arrangements for regulated SAPS, before the Amending Rule took effect.