Under the National Energy Retail Law a person must hold a retailer authorisation (unless exempt from the requirement) prior to engaging in the retail sale of energy (electricity or gas). The AER administers retailer authorisations.

The National Energy Retail Law sets out three entry criteria that must be satisfied to obtain a retailer authorisation:

  • organisational and technical capacity—the applicant must have the necessary organisational and technical capacity to meet the obligations of a retailer
  • financial resources—the applicant must have resources or access to resources so that it will have the financial viability and financial capacity to meet the obligations of a retailer
  • suitability—the applicant must be a suitable person to hold a retailer authorisation.

Retailer authorisation guidelines and checklist 

The AER’s Retailer Authorisation Guideline sets out the AER’s approach to assessing applications for retailer authorisation, including the information that must be provided to satisfy the entry criteria. The guideline also sets out the processes for the transfer, surrender or revocation of a retailer authorisation.

Applicants are encouraged to use the checklist and declaration templates to assist in preparing and submitting complete authorisation applications.

The AER will provide feedback to applicants only when a checklist is accompanied with their application confirming that the application contains all the information set out in the Guideline.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the AER before applying to clarify any queries regarding the requirements, process or criteria.

AER Checklist - Frequently Asked Questions ( DOCX 735.16 KB )

AER Authorisation Checklist  ( DOCX 761.59 KB )

AER Authorisation Template Declarations  ( DOCX 736.72 KB )

Retail exemptions

There are some situations where a retailer authorisation is not necessary or appropriate, and a person selling energy may be exempt from the requirement to have an authorisation. The AER’s Exempt Selling Guideline sets out the AER’s approach to retail exemptions, including details of the types of activities which are exempt from the requirement to hold a retailer authorisation.

Public register of authorised retailers

The AER publishes the details of all authorised retailers in a public register. The AER consults on all authorisation applications (including applications to transfer or surrender an authorisation): details are published in the public register.