Network service provider registration exemption guideline review 2021

Exemption guideline
Date initiated: 
18 May 2021
Effective date: 
30 November 2021
General enquiries - Exemptions
AER reference: 


In February 2021, we commenced a review of the current AER (Retail) Exempt Selling Guideline (the retail exemption guideline) and the Electricity Network Service Provider – Registration Exemption Guideline (the network exemption guideline).

The objectives of this review are to:

  • Improve the clarity and readability of exemption requirements.
  • Streamline the network exemption guideline and removing redundancies.
  • Clarify concepts such as the issue of the ownership, control, and operation of embedded networks in the network exemption guideline.
  • Introduce standardised statements in both guidelines where information requirements need to be met, e.g. for exemption applications that require applicants to obtain explicit informed consent to network conversion proposals.
  • Improve consistency between the two guidelines.

Consultation paper - invitation for submissions

On 18 May 2021 we published a consultation paper discussing general concerns identified within both guidelines. These issues have been referred to us by a range of stakeholders, including ombudsman schemes, and through complaints and queries to the AER. Submissions closed on 30 June  2021 and those received are available to view


Under the National Energy Retail Law, any person or business who sells energy to another person for use at premises must have either a retailer authorisation or a retail exemption.

All who own, control or operate an electricity network under the National Electricity Law must be registered as a Network Service Provider with the Australian Energy Market Operator or be subject to an network exemption from the AER. The AER can issue exemptions to persons or classes of persons and impose conditions on these exemptions in accordance with the network exemption guideline.

The retail and network exemption guidelines set out the processes for registering and applying for exemptions, and outline the various exemption classes, their eligibility criteria and exemption conditions. They also detail our policy considerations when making decisions on exemption applications and on exemption classes and conditions.

The retail exemption guideline (version 5) and the network exemption guideline (version 6) were both published in March 2018.