On 14 April 2022 the AER released an interim draft Ring-fencing guideline (Electricity transmission) (the Guideline) and explanatory statement. As part of a full review of the current guideline, the AER has identified that there is an enforceability issue. The interim draft guideline has been issued to address this.
Submissions on the draft guideline closed 31 May 2022 we published four submissions. On 6 July 2022 the AER published its final interim Ring-fencing guideline (Electricity transmission) and explanatory statement.
The AER is has conducted a full review of the Guideline to address broader matters relating to the ring-fencing arrangements for Transmission Network Service Providers (TNSPs).
The Guideline was initially released by the ACCC in 2002 (version 1) and the Guideline was republished by the AER in substantially the same form in 2005 (version 2) as a guideline made under Chapter 6 of the NER at that time.
The NER was subsequently amended in 2006 to introduce Chapter 6A. Chapter 6A now includes updated provisions relating to transmission ring-fencing and outlines the AER’s role in issuing a relevant guideline. Clause 6A.21.1 of the NER imposes an obligation to comply with the Guideline.
It has recently come to our attention that when the NER was amended to introduce a new Chapter 6A, those changes did not include provisions to transition the 2005 guideline from the old rules to the new NER. Further, no transitional provisions exist in the current version of the NER that deem version 2 of the guideline to have been made under clause 6A.21 of the NER.
To address this, we are proposing to re-issue the Guideline under clause 6A.21 of the NER in substantively the same form as version 2.