Network service provider registration exemption guideline review 2021–22

Exemption guideline
Date initiated: 
18 May 2021
Effective date: 
30 November 2022
General enquiries - Exemptions
AER reference: 


In May 2021 we commenced a review of the current AER (Retail) Exempt Selling Guideline and the Electricity Network Service Provider – Registration Exemption Guideline (the Network Exemptions Guideline).

The objectives of this review are to:

  • improve the clarity and readability of exemption requirements
  • streamline the Network Exemptions Guideline and remove redundancies
  • introduce standardised statements in both guidelines where information requirements need to be met
  • improve consistency between the two guidelines.

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 (NERL) 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 (NEL) must be registered as a network service provider (NSP) with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) 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 Exemptions Guideline.

The Retail Exempt Selling Guideline and the Network Exemptions Guideline 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 AER (Retail) Exempt Selling Guideline (version 5) and the Electricity Network Service Provider – Registration Exemption Guideline (version 6) were both published in March 2018.