Background to the Guideline

We commenced work on the Ring-fencing guideline (electricity distribution) in January 2016. In developing the Guideline, we undertook extensive consultation with distributors, retailers, consumer advocates and other stakeholders. We received around 80 written submissions in total over the course of the process. We also held workshops and public forums where all parties could express their views in person. In addition, we held a large number of one-on-one discussions with various stakeholders, including distribution businesses, third party providers of competitive services and consumer representatives./

We released a discussion paper, known as the Preliminary Positions paper in April 2016. The paper discussed a broad range of issues that would need to be considered in developing a new ring-fencing guideline. While the proposed guideline would focus on electricity distribution ring-fencing, it would also set an important precedent for electricity transmission ring-fencing. We received 30 submissions.

We released our Draft Guideline in August 2016, along with a detailed Explanatory Statement setting out our response to the issues raised in the first round of submissions. We received 32 submissions. We held a workshop in Sydney on 27 October 2016 to discuss responses to the Draft Guideline. On 9 November, we released an exposure draft of the Guideline and received 18 submissions. Our responses to the submissions on the exposure draft are set out in the Explanatory Statement.

The Guideline marks a move away from State-based ring-fencing arrangements toward a national approach. Since 2008, we have relied on ring fencing arrangements for electricity distribution business that were established by the State regulators. The new national Guideline was developed in collaboration with the Australian Energy Market Commission and State Government agencies, and in consultation with all stakeholders.

Date Milestone
Key milestones in the Ring-fencing Guideline development process
January 2016 Project commenced
January/February 2016 Preliminary Positions paper developed
April 2016 Preliminary Positions paper published
30 May 2016 Due date for submissions
May/June 2016 Draft Guideline developed
August 2016 Draft Guideline published
28 September 2016 Due date for submissions
September 2016 Information paper published
September/October 2016 Workshops held
November 2016 Exposure draft of the Guideline published
November 2016 Final Guideline published