On 31 October 2019, the AER released its final financial reporting guideline for light regulation pipelines.
Under the National Gas Rules (NGR) 63 of Schedule 1, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is required to publish and maintain the Financial Reporting Guideline for light regulation pipelines. The AEMC introduced the requirement for the AER to prepare these guidelines during its review of Parts 8-12 of the NGR.
The financial reporting guideline has been developed by the AER, in collaboration with the Economic Regulation Authority Western Australia (ERA), with the assistance of specialist consultants.
The AER is also required to monitor and enforce compliance of the pipeline operators with the information disclosure requirements set out in the guideline.
The guideline specifies the financial and weighted average price information service providers are required to prepare and publish on their website. The information requirements specified in the guideline include:
- a statement of pipeline revenue and expenses
- a statement of pipeline assets
- financial performance summary
- asset valuation
- weighted average cost of capital principles
- weighted average price information
- audit assurance
A reporting template accompanies the draft guideline to ensure consistency of the data collected and information reported. Service providers will be required to publish a basis of preparation document with the template, setting out the sources of information, allocation methods and assumptions for estimates.
In addition to the financial reporting guideline and template, an explanatory statement has been prepared to provide context to the guideline. The explanatory statement includes detail on the legislative basis, AER consideration of the costs and benefits of the guideline, and direction on how the guidelines are to be applied.
On 19 August 2019, the AER released its draft financial reporting guidelines for light regulation pipelines for public consideration and comment. Following the release of the draft financial reporting guideline and reporting template, interested parties were invited to make submissions by 16 September 2019. The final guideline incorporating stakeholder feedback, a reporting template and an explanatory statement was published on 31 October 2019.
On 14 March 2019, the AEMC made a final determination to implement a range of improvements to the regulation of covered pipelines across Australia. As part of this determination, a financial reporting guideline for light regulation pipelines must be prepared by 31 October 2019.
On 19 December 2017, the AER released its Financial Reporting Guidelines for Non-Scheme Pipelines. We have drafted a similar guideline for light regulation pipelines, with amendments focusing on the methodology for asset valuation and the associated requirements.