The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) today released for consultation draft amendments to the current Compliance Procedures and Guidelines (the Guidelines). Accompanying the draft Guideline is the Notice of Draft Instrument and the AER's Practice Guide for Compliance Audits; both documents seek to explain the AER's views on the changes proposed to the Guidelines.
The AER is responsible for energy market regulation. Among its functions, the AER monitors, investigates and enforces compliance with obligations under the National Energy Retail Law (Retail Law) and National Energy Retail Rules (Retail Rules). This includes developing Guidelines for energy businesses in jurisdictions that have adopted the Retail Law and set out the manner and form businesses must submit compliance information and data to the AER. The Guidelines also includes guidance on the carrying out of compliance audits under the Retail Law.
The current Guidelines were last revised in September 2014. Since then, the Australian Energy Market Commission has made a number of rule changes to the Retail Rules. Given these developments, there is a need to re-open the Guidelines to consider if any of these rules should be incorporated into the reporting framework. In reviewing the Guidelines, the AER has also considered changes to:
- Refine the reporting framework to ensure it remains consistent with the AER’s compliance objectives. This includes balancing the need to monitor compliance and the impact on businesses to respond to and report on breaches of the Retail Law and Retail Rules.
- Improve the quality of reports submitted so that the information provided is reliable and allows informed comparison of compliance levels over time and between businesses.
- Revise the guidance material on compliance audits to reflect the AER’s approach to utilising its powers under the Retail Law.
Invitation for submissions
Interested parties are invited to make written submissions on the draft Guideline by close of business, 23 January 2017. Late submissions may not be taken into account.
Submissions should be sent electronically to: email@example.com with the subject line "Draft amendments to AER Compliance Procedures and Guidelines". Alternatively, written submissions can also be sent to:
General Manager—Retail Markets
Australian Energy Regulator
GPO Box 520
Melbourne VIC 3001
Submissions provided by email do not need to be provided separately by mail.
The AER prefers that all submissions be sent in an electronic format in Microsoft Word or other text readable document form and publicly available, to facilitate an informed, transparent and robust consultation process. Accordingly, submissions will be treated as public documents and posted on the AER's website, unless prior arrangements are made with the AER to treat the submission, or portions of it, as confidential. Those wishing to submit confidential information are requested to:
- clearly identify the information that is the subject of the confidentiality claim; and
- provide a non-confidential version of the submission.