Trial projects guidelines - Regulatory sandboxing

Regulatory sandboxing
General enquiries - Regulatory sandboxing, General enquiries - Regulatory sandboxing


The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is establishing a Regulatory Sandboxing function that aims to help energy innovators and start-ups navigate complex regulatory frameworks and enable the trial of new products and services that will deliver greater choice and cheaper energy options for consumers. The AER will deliver regulatory sandboxing alongside, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and Victoria’s Essential Services Commission (ESCV).

The sandbox toolkit includes the Innovation Enquiry Service (IES), which will provide innovators with informal guidance on how a new technology, service or business model can be delivered under current regulation. The sandbox toolkit also includes a regulatory waiver power for the AER and a trial rule change process for the AEMC, which will allow for both temporary exemptions from existing rules and for time-limited new rules to be created so that innovative trials can go ahead.

To provide guidance on how the AER will assess trial waiver applications and carry out our other functions in relation to trial projects, the AER is required to develop and make the Trial Projects Guidelines.

On 19 April 2022, the AER released a draft of the Trial Projects Guidelines and explanatory statement for consultation. Submissions closed on 3 June 2022.