The Embedded Network Manager (ENM) is a service provider accredited by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The purpose of the ENM is to facilitate the transfer of a customer from off-market to on-market (and back again if required). It is a condition of exemption under the National Energy Rules that network exemption holders either become an ENM or appoint one in certain situations.
This page sets out what an ENM is, when one should be appointed and where to find out more.
To understand what an ENM is, we must first understand two different ways customers in embedded networks are sold electricity.
How is electricity sold to off-market embedded network customers?
The electricity account holder for the whole site onsells electricity to the individual customers within the site's embedded network.
How is electricity sold to on-market embedded network customers?
The embedded network customer's meter is registered in the wholesale market systems (MSATS), which is operated by the market operator, AEMO. A customer can then be 'won' by any market retailer operating in the customer's area. To the retailer, the customer will become visible in the same way as other customers directly connected to the distribution system on the street.
- From 1 December 2017, some network exemption holders must immediately appoint or become an ENM.
- From 1 December 2017, all network exemption holders must appoint or become an Embedded Network Manager (ENM) when a customer within an embedded network enters into a market retail contract.
- To become an ENM, an application for accreditation must be submitted to AEMO.
- In most cases, the costs of appointing or becoming an ENM cannot be charged to customers directly.
- For details of our requirements see section 4.7 of our current guideline: Electricity Network Service Provider - Registration Exemption Guideline.
Embedded network customers in areas where customers have a right to access market retailers (see below, 'Who requires an ENM?') may contact a retailer to ask for an 'energy-only' offer. Retailers who choose to make an offer of supply to an embedded network customer need to follow a particular process to ensure embedded network customers can go 'on-market'. The process is set out in the AER factsheet Making offers to embedded network customers.
Why is an ENM required?
The National Electricity Market is currently undergoing a series of reforms aimed at delivering a customer driven competitive market place for the provision of electricity services. This package of reforms is known collectively as the AEMC Power of Choice reforms.
For embedded networks, Power of Choice has focused on improving access to retail competition for customers in embedded networks. An embedded networks rule change commencing on 1 December 2017, identified there was a need for a new role in the energy market with responsibility for ensuring customers in embedded networks were accurately entered into the wholesale market systems (MSATS). Embedded network customers that do not appear in MSATS cannot receive electricity from a market retailer outside the embedded network. They cannot become on-market customers.
The embedded networks rule change creates a new role for an accredited service provider known as an ENM. The ENM has responsibility for ensuring the details of the metering installation of customers in embedded networks are accurately entered into MSATS.
What does an ENM do?
National Metering Identifiers (NMIs) are individual reference numbers that identify each specific customer meter in MSATS. Retailers that win new customers claim responsibility for each new NMI in MSATS. Without a NMI, a customer cannot receive electricity from a market retailer outside of an embedded network. They cannot become on-market customers.
The ENM is responsible for providing NMIs to customers within embedded networks who want to go on-market. The ENM is also responsible for accurately recording details of both a customer's metering installation, and that of the parent meter (the embedded network's main meter at the point of connection to the street), in MSATS.
Who requires an ENM?
Everyone who owns, operates or controls an embedded network in the National Electricity Market requires a network exemption. However, only some network exemption holders will require an ENM.
In certain states, regions and territories, some embedded networks are not subject to the ENM requirement. This applies in areas where customers in embedded networks do not have the right to access a market retailer. At the time of writing, the following states, regions and territories afford customers in embedded networks the right to access a market retailer: South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and South East Queensland.
In other cases, embedded network operators are permitted to delay the ENM requirement until a customer within the embedded network enters into a contract with a market retailer. This generally applies for small embedded networks (under 30 customers) and for certain classes of network exemption.
The Network Service Provider Registration Exemption Guideline details the complete requirements as to when a network exemption holder must appoint or become an ENM. We have also developed an interactive decision tree to assist network exemption holders in assessing whether and when the ENM requirements will apply to the embedded networks that they own, operate or control.
See the webpage 'Do I require an Embedded Network Manager (ENM)?' to use the interactive decision tree.
Where can I find an ENM?
Network exemption holders who are required to become or appoint an ENM should visit the AEMO website. On the website you will find information on the accreditation process and a list of ENMs that have already received accreditation along with their contact details (see the document entitled, 'National Electricity Market Accredited Embedded Network Managers' on the AEMO website).