Better Regulation

The AER's Better Regulation reform program aimed to deliver an improved regulatory framework focused on promoting the long term interests of electricity consumers. This followed from changes to the National Electricity and Gas Rules that were published by the Australian Energy Market Commission on 29 November 2012.

Quick information about the Better Regulation program

Overview of the Better Regulation reform package

On 7 April 2014 the AER released its final publication as part of the Better Regulation program: Overview of the Better Regulation reform package. This document provides an overview on how the reforms work together as a package of measures to promote the long term interests of consumers, and how they interact with each other and other parts of the regulatory landscape. The paper is intended as a useful starting point for stakeholders wanting a summary of the key outcomes of the Better Regulation process.

AER Overview of the Better Regulation reform package ( PDF 349.96 KB | DOCX 229 KB )

As part of the Better Regulation program the AER:

  • Published a series of guidelines in November and December 2013 which set out our approach to regulation under the new rules.
  • Established a Consumer Reference Group to make it easier for consumer representative groups to have input into the Better regulation consultative process without necessarily writing formal submissions.
  • Established a Consumer Challenge Panel within the AER on 1 July 2013. The Panel provides an independent consumer perspective to challenge the AER and network service providers during determination processes.
Better regulation - workstream and purpose
Workstream Purpose
Expenditure forecast assessment guideline Assessing expenditure proposals from businesses.
Rate of return guidelines Determining the allowed rate of return businesses earn on their investments.
Expenditure incentives guideline Creating the right incentives to encourage efficient spending by businesses.
Consumer engagement guideline for network service providers Implementing consumer engagement strategies that are effective for all stakeholders.
Shared asset guideline Sharing the revenue networks earn from shared assets with consumers.
Confidentiality guideline Managing confidential information for an effective regulatory determination process.
Power of choice implementation Ensuring network companies are innovating and exploring demand management solutions. This includes our Regulatory Investment Test for Distribution (RIT-D).
Consumer reference group Facilitate consumer input in the Better regulation project.
Consumer challenge panel Provide an independent consumer perspective to challenge the AER and network service providers during determination processes.

Guideline factsheets

The AER published its final guidelines over November and December 2013. Accompanying each guideline is a two page factsheet.

AER Better Regulation factsheet - Regulatory investment test for distribution - August 2013 ( PDF 180.74 KB | DOCX 95.46 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - Consumer engagement guideline for network service providers - November 2013 ( PDF 248.24 KB | DOCX 86.43 KB )

AER Better Regulation Factsheet - Confidentiality guideline - November 2013 ( PDF 299.26 KB | DOCX 88.99 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - expenditure forecast assessment guideline - November 2013 ( PDF 293.43 KB | DOCX 94.96 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - expenditure incentives - November 2013 ( PDF 232.96 KB | DOCX 93.88 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - shared asset guideline - November 2013 ( PDF 189.93 KB | DOCX 84.47 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - rate of return guideline - December 2013 ( PDF 309.04 KB | DOCX 98.39 KB )

Previous Better Regulation publications

Overview papers

The AER published its first overview paper called Better Regulation: an integrated package on 13 May 2013. It was a high level overview of the Better Regulation program and tied all our work together by explaining what the different workstreams were and how we saw them interacting.

AER Better Regulation policy note - an integrated package - May 2013 ( DOC 339 KB | PDF 332.17 KB )

Following the release of the draft guidelines for consultation, the AER published a document called Better Regulation: reform package update on 30 August 2013. The document was an overview of the program, structure of the package, consultation, and key decisions to date.

AER Better Regulation - Reform package update - August 2013 ( PDF 310.87 KB | DOCX 151.75 KB )

The link to our final overview paper Overview of the Better Regulation reform package is at the top of this page.

Draft guideline factsheets

The AER published several of its draft guidelines for consultation throughout July and August 2013. Accompanying each draft guideline was a two page factsheet.

AER Better Regulation factsheet - Draft consumer engagement guideline for network service providers - July 2013 ( PDF 243.81 KB | DOCX 84.77 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - Draft shared assets guideline - July 2013 ( PDF 169 KB | DOCX 86.79 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - Draft expenditure forecast assessment guideline - August 2013 ( PDF 245.69 KB | DOCX 92 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - Draft expenditure incentives - August 2013 ( PDF 187.39 KB | DOCX 94.16 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - Draft confidentiality guideline - August 2013 ( PDF 234.11 KB | DOCX 91 KB )

AER Better Regulation factsheet - Draft rate of return guideline - August 2013 ( PDF 244.15 KB | DOCX 100.27 KB )

Better Regulation updates and consultation

Monthly newsletter

The AER published a newsletter update each month to inform stakeholders of our progress in the Better Regulation program. Our newsletter update highlighted the previous month’s events, and the current month’s upcoming events. We also had a ‘spotlight’ each month with more information on one of our Better Regulation projects.

AER Better regulation update - Newsletter - February 2013 ( DOC 4.23 MB | PDF 79.09 KB )

AER Better regulation update - Newsletter - March 2013 ( DOC 4.23 MB | PDF 72.66 KB )

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - April 2013 ( DOC 4.23 MB | PDF 117.73 KB )

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - May 2013 ( DOC 4.23 MB | PDF 97.42 KB )

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - June 2013 ( DOC 4.23 MB | PDF 116.91 KB )

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - July 2013 ( PDF 257.25 KB | DOC 4.23 MB )

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - August 2013 ( PDF 259.09 KB | DOCX 4.18 MB )

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - September 2013 ( PDF 260.98 KB | DOCX 4.18 MB )

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - October 2013 ( PDF 250.12 KB | DOCX 4.19 MB )

AER Better Regulation update - Newsletter - November 2013 ( PDF 248.46 KB | DOCX 4.18 MB )

Better Regulation updates and consultation

The AER published its schedule of events showing when each workstream planned to publish papers and hold workshops.

AER Better Regulation calendar - version published 18 October 2013 ( PDF 319.48 KB | DOC 293.5 KB )

Better Regulation stakeholder forum - 18 December 2012

The AER held a videoconference forum on 18 December 2012 to discuss our work program and the consultation process that we are planning. Prior to the forum an issues paper was released on 10 December 2012 with more information on the guidelines and our plans for the consultation processes for each work stream.

Better regulation - Agenda - AER stakeholder forum - 18 December 2012 ( PDF 97.16 KB | DOCX 277.09 KB )

AER Better regulation issues paper - December 2012 ( DOCX 459.67 KB | PDF 265.08 KB )

Better Regulation AER public forum - Andrew Reeves presentation - 18 December 2012 ( DOC 60.39 KB | PDF 96.73 KB )

Better regulation AER public forum presentation notes - 18 December 2012 ( DOC 361 KB | PDF 197.35 KB )

Contact Better Regulation

If you have any general comments, questions or feedback on the Better Regulation program, please send an email to AERinquiry@aer.gov.au. If you are looking for information about specific workstreams please follow the links to each of the workstream's in the projects section in the table above.