On 9 December the AER published its Better resets handbook - Towards consumer-centric network proposals (the Handbook). The Handbook aims to incentivise networks to develop high quality proposals which are driven by genuine engagement with consumers. This will lead to regulatory outcomes that better reflect the long-term interests of consumers.
The Handbook outlines what the AER expects would be in a high-quality, consumer-centric regulatory proposal. Regulatory proposals which are developed through genuine engagement with consumers and meet our expectations for forecast expenditure, depreciation and tariff structure statements are more likely to be largely or wholly accepted at the draft decision stage, creating a more efficient regulatory process for all stakeholders.
The Handbook also introduces an innovative early signalling pathway process that will result in a more efficient regulatory assessment process, enabling network businesses to get on with the job of delivering better outcomes for consumers.
We consider that the Handbook will also lead to many other benefits including; improved relationships and understanding between networks and consumers, greater faith from all parties in regulatory processes and the generation of new ideas and regulatory approaches that benefit both customers and networks.
We have also retired the Consumer engagement guideline for Network Service Providers, which was published as part of the Better Regulation Reform Program in 2013. The Better Resets Handbook supersedes the information in the Guideline.
We have received expressions of Interests (EOIs) from businesses seeking the early signalling pathway process.