On 6 July 2022 the AER released its final interim Ring-fencing guideline (electricity transmission) (the Guideline) and explanatory statement.
As part of a review of the original 2005 Ring-fencing guideline (electricity transmission), the AER identified an enforceability issue. In order to address this issue, the AER published the Guideline for consultation in April 2022 seeking comments from stakeholders. Following this consultation process, the final interim guideline has been issued in substantially the same form to the previous version to address the enforceability issue.
In addition to the final interim guideline, the AER has also published a final decision to re-issue a waiver from clause 7.1(a)(ii) for TasNetworks.
The AER is continuing to conduct a full review of the Guideline to address broader matters relating to the ring-fencing arrangements for Transmission Network Service Providers (TNSPs). Stakeholders are invited to make a submission in respect of any proposed substantive amendments to the Guideline.
The Guideline was initially released by the ACCC in 2002 (version 1) and was republished by the AER in substantially the same form in 2005 (version 2) as a guideline made under Chapter 6 of the NER at that time.
The NER was subsequently amended in 2006 to introduce Chapter 6A. Chapter 6A now includes updated provisions relating to transmission ring-fencing and outlines the AER’s role in issuing a relevant guideline. Clause 6A.21.1 of the NER imposes an obligation to comply with the Guideline.
It recently came to the AER’s attention that when the NER was amended to introduce a new Chapter 6A, those changes did not include provisions to transition the 2005 guideline from the old rules to the new NER. Further, no transitional provisions exist in the current version of the NER that deem version 2 of the guideline to have been made under clause 6A.21 of the NER.
To address this, the AER has re-issued the guideline under clause 6A.21 of the NER in substantively the same form as version 2.