The AER is undertaking a review of the retailer authorisation and exemption frameworks set out in the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) to assess whether the current energy consumer protection framework remains fit-for-purpose in a transitioning energy market. The review forms part of the Energy Security Board's (ESB) distributed energy resources (DER) implementation plan to effectively integrate DER into the National Electricity Market.
We initiated the retailer authorisation and exemption review on 22 April by publishing an issues paper for public consultation. This review is supported by the ESB and the Australian Energy Market Commission, and the AER is working closely with the Australian Energy Market Operator, industry and consumer groups.
Have your say
We invite energy consumers and other interested parties to make submissions on the retailer authorisation and exemption review issues paper by Friday 27 May 2022.
The AER will host an online public forum to enable stakeholders to ask questions about the review before submissions close. The online public forum will be held from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm (AEST) on 5 May 2022. Please register to attend.
Since the introduction of the NECF there has been substantial investment by customers in DER such as rooftop solar, batteries, smart appliances and electric vehicles, and this is expected to continue. This is giving rise to the emergence of new energy products and services which can unlock the value of these DER assets for both customers and the energy system. This review will consider how current issues with the authorisation and exemption frameworks are likely to be exacerbated in the energy market transition, how new energy services and products interact with the NECF and the essentiality of energy services to consumers, and what regulatory reforms may be required to ensure energy consumers continue to be adequately protected.
The need for this review was set out in the ESB's final advice to Energy Ministers in July 2021 as part of its Post 2025 market design reforms. National Cabinet endorsed the reforms set out in the final advice in October 2021. The advice provided recommendations across 4 key reform pathways to support a transitioning energy market, from one underpinned largely by coal fired generation to a market with more variable renewable energy.
One key pathway is Integrating DER and flexible demand which aims to effectively integrate DER into the National Electricity Market, with ESB analysis showing this could lead to $6.3 billion in benefits for consumers over the next 20 years. The retailer authorisation and exemption review is one of many projects being progressed under this pathway. The ESB is coordinating the activities under this reform pathway through the DER Implementation plan, which provides a three year road setting out the technical, regulatory and market reforms required to integrate DER.