Under the National Electricity Rules (NER), any party that engages in an electricity transmission or distribution activity must either be registered with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as a network service provider (NSP), or be exempted by the AER from this requirement.
To assist applicants who may seek an exemption, the NER provides that the AER can issue a guideline setting out the requirements to gain an exemption. The AER initially adopted guidelines for NSP exemptions from the National Electricity Code Administrator (NECA) in the transfer of functions when the AER formed in 2005.
On 16 December 2011, the AER revoked the former guidelines and replaced it with a new Electricity NSP Registration Exemption Guideline. The new Guideline came into effect on 1 January 2012. Over the first six months, the AER's compliance approach will focus on monitoring, and educating participants on their obligations under the Guideline.