New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
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Date initiated
Effective date
Retail exempt selling

This version of the Guideline was replaced by version 4 on 18 March 2016.


The Retail Law requires that anyone selling energy to customers must either hold a retailer authorisation or a valid exemption. While most sellers of energy will hold an authorisation, there will be some circumstances where an authorisation is not appropriate. This could include retirement villages, caravan parks or any other arrangement where an owner purchases energy from an authorised retailer and then 'onsells' the energy to tenants.

The exemptions regime captures such situations by exempting these types of entities from the requirement to hold a retailer authorisation. The Retail Law and Rules set out the exemptions regime, and the AER is responsible for regulating exempt persons and placing conditions on exemptions.

The AER is authorised to exempt persons or classes of persons from the requirement to hold a retailer authorisation. The Retail Rules provide for three different types of exemption:

  • deemed exemptions,
  • registrable exemptions, and
  • individual exemptions

To manage this process, the AER has published the exempt selling guideline. The guideline explains how to apply for an individual exemption, and how to obtain a registrable exemption (by registering with the AER as belonging to a class of registrable exemption). It also discusses the factors that the AER will consider in assessing individual exemption applications. The guideline sets out the various classes of deemed and registrable exemptions, and the conditions attached to each class of deemed and registrable exemption.

The AER approved the guideline on 10 April 2015. It replaced the previous exempt selling guideline of July 2013.