A Distribution Network Service Provider (DNSP) must establish and maintain appropriate internal procedures to ensure it complies with its obligations under the Ring-Fencing Guideline (Electricity Distribution).

Compliance reporting

There are a range of mechanisms under which DNSPs and the AER report on compliance with the Ring-fencing Guideline (Electricity Distribution).

A DNSP must:

  • Submit compliance reports and accompanying independent compliance assessments to the AER on an annual basis.
  • Maintain on its website a staff and office sharing register, an information sharing register, a waiver register, and an information sharing protocol.
  • Notify the AER within five business days of becoming aware of a material breach of the Guideline.

The AER publishes updates on ring-fencing compliance (including any material breaches reported to the AER) in the AER Quarterly Compliance Report. We also publish DNSP compliance reports and independent assessments on the AER website, after undertaking analysis of the reports.

Annual compliance reports

Under the Ring-fencing Guideline (Electricity Distribution), DNSPs must submit annual compliance reports accompanied by assessments of compliance by an independent authority. Victorian DNSPs are required to submit annual compliance reports by April 30 for the preceding regulatory year (which aligns with the calendar year). All other DNSPs must submit annual compliance reports by 31 October for the preceding regulatory year (which aligns with the financial year). 

Best practice manual

To guide DNSPs in reporting on compliance against the Electricity Distribution Ring-fencing Guideline, the AER has published the Electricity Distribution Ring-fencing - Compliance Reporting Best Practice Manual

Compliance breaches

A DNSP must notify the AER in writing within five business days of becoming aware of a material breach of its obligations under the Guideline. Compliance breaches will be published by the AER when available. DNSPs can report material breaches to the AER by emailing using the template cover letter and the breach reporting template below:

Ring-fencing - breach template cover letter for DNSPs - December 2017 ( DOCX 50.25 KB )

Ring-fencing - breach reporting template - December 2017 ( XLSX 110.53 KB )

Compliance plans

In July 2017 DNSPs submitted compliance plans to the AER, detailing the steps they would take over the 2017 transitional year to achieve compliance with the Electricity Distribution Ring-fencing Guideline. 


Ring-fencing enquiries should be directed to