The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has released the results of its latest compliance audits under the National Energy Retail Law (Retail Law).
EnergyAustralia, M2 Energy, Red Energy and 1st Energy each carried out an audit to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of their compliance policies, systems and procedures in relation to section 282 of the Retail Law.
The audit covered reporting activities related to the 1 October to 31 December 2019 reporting period. The audits identified a number of areas in which businesses can improve how the preparation, accuracy, management and provision of performance data is supplied to the AER. The AER is now working with each retailer to monitor the implementation of the recommendations.
Retailers and distributors must establish and implement policies, systems and procedures to enable them to efficiently and effectively monitor their compliance with the requirements of the Retail Law and National Energy Retail Rules (Retail Rules).
The Retail Law allows the AER to require a retailer or distributor to carry out a compliance audit in respect of its compliance with the Retail Law, Retail Rules and Regulations, or to engage an auditor to conduct an audit on behalf of the AER, and recover the cost of that audit from the relevant retailer or distributor.
Compliance audits are one of many compliance monitoring tools used by the AER to ensure energy consumers are receiving the protections they are entitled to under the Retail Law and Retail Rules. You can read more about our approach to compliance and enforcement in the AER Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
Section 282 of the Retail Law requires the provision of accurate and timely information to the AER, which is critical to the performance of the AER’s economic or market monitoring functions. The AER relies on information and data on key market and performance indicators, provided by retailers under the Retail Law and AER Performance Reporting Procedures and AER Guidelines, to prepare annual retail market reports, and quarterly retail energy market performance updates published throughout the year. The provision of information to the AER under Section 282 is a current annual compliance and enforcement priority.