A significant milestone in energy regulation was reached today with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) officially launching its Better Resets Handbook: Towards consumer-centric network proposals, in a virtual online event, joined by network businesses, energy consumer advocates and other key stakeholders.
In doing so, the AER has set out an important evolution in its approach to network revenue determinations.
Referred to as ‘resets’, network revenue determinations are one of the key regulatory processes the AER undertakes to ensure consumers pay no more than necessary for safe and reliable energy.
The Handbook outlines what the AER expects would be in a high-quality, consumer-centric network proposal that would be capable of early acceptance, potentially at the draft decision stage.
It puts consumer engagement at the centre of a well-justified proposal and outlines an innovative early signalling pathway process that will result in a more efficient reset process, enabling network businesses to get on with the job of delivering better outcomes for consumers.
The Handbook has undergone extensive consultation, receiving wide-ranging support and constructive feedback from stakeholders about the new approach, and its intent to create better resets.
Comments from submissions to the AER include:
“The Draft Handbook is a welcome development that clarifies and re-affirms the central role of consumers in the development of regulatory proposals.” – Ausgrid
“Networks strongly support this AER initiative. Collaboration and engagement across networks, customers, consumer advocates and regulators has delivered clearly better outcomes.” – Energy Networks Australia
“We support the Handbook as a significant step for an improved regulatory process, and ultimately improved consumer outcomes.” – Energy Consumers Australia