An electricity Distribution Network Service Provider (DNSP) must establish and maintain appropriate internal procedures to achieve ongoing compliance with its obligations under the Ring-fencing guideline (electricity distribution) (the Guideline).


There are a range of mechanisms under which DNSPs and the AER report on compliance with the Guideline.

A DNSP must:

  • Submit compliance reports and accompanying independent compliance assessments to the AER on an annual basis.
  • Maintain on its website a staff and office sharing register, an information sharing register, a waiver register, an information sharing protocol and any further registers that may be stipulated in the guideline over time.
  • Notify the AER within fifteen business days of becoming aware of a breach of the Guideline, unless not required under the Guideline.

The AER publishes updates on ring-fencing compliance (including any breaches reported to the AER) in the annual compliance report. We also publish DNSP compliance reports and independent assessments on this website, after reviewing and analysing the reports.

Best practice manual

DNSPs are required to submit annual compliance reports by 30 April for the preceding calendar year. To guide DNSPs in reporting on compliance against the Guideline, the AER has published a best practice manual


A DNSP must notify the AER in writing within fifteen business days of becoming aware of a breach of its obligations under the Guideline, except for a breach of clause 6.2.2 or clause 6.3. We will publish all breach information on this website.

DNSPs can report breaches to the AER by emailing AERringfencingataer [dot] gov [dot] au (AERringfencing[at]aer[dot]gov[dot]au) using the following template cover letter and the breach reporting template:

Ring-fencing - Breach cover letter template for DNSPs - December 2017

Ring-fencing - Breach reporting template - January 2022


Clause 4.2.4 of the guideline requires a DNSP to publish registers. These registers are intended to be living documents and must be updated quarterly (by 15 January, 15 April, 15 July and 15 October of each year), though can be updated more frequently if required.


DNSPs are encouraged to use the following template when publishing the registers on their website. 

AER - Template - Staff and office sharing register - Distribution ring-fencing guideline - updated March 2022


Ring-fencing enquiries should be directed to AERringfencingataer [dot] gov [dot] au (AERringfencing[at]aer[dot]gov[dot]au).