Issue date

Essential Energy has submitted to the AER a ring-fencing application from clause 4.2 of the Ring-fencing guideline (electricity distribution).

We are seeking feedback from interested stakeholders on re-issuing (or renewing) a waiver that would enable Essential Energy to continue providing contestable technical training to Accredited Service Providers in specific locations in regional New South Wales.

An existing waiver for this purpose is due to expire on 30 June 2024.


We are seeking written submissions to assist in our decision-making.

We prefer to make written submissions publicly available, to facilitate an informed and transparent consultative process. We will treat written submissions as public documents unless otherwise requested. 

Stakeholders should email any comments or written submissions to AERringfencingataer [dot] gov [dot] au (AERringfencing[at]aer[dot]gov[dot]au)  by close of business on Wednesday, 21 December 2023.


The proposed timing for our consultation and decision is:

  • 21 December 2023 – Submissions close
  • February 2024 – AER issues decision and statement of reasons


The AER is the regulator for electricity and gas networks in every state and territory in Australia except Western Australia.

Ring-fencing, in relation to distribution network service providers (DNSPs), refers to the separation of distribution services provided by a DNSP from the provision of unregulated or contestable services by a DNSP, or an affiliated entity.

Ring-fencing operates to separate regulated activities from competitive business activities to support competitive markets. The Ring-fencing Guideline (Electricity distribution) prevents DNSPs from discriminating in contestable markets in favour of themselves or affiliated entities. It also prevents DNSPs from using revenue earned from regulated services to cross-subsidise unregulated or contestable services.