The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is responsible for energy market regulation. Among its functions, the AER monitors, investigates and enforces compliance with obligations under the National Energy Retail Law (Retail Law) and National Energy Retail Rules (Retail Rules). This includes developing Compliance Procedures and Guidelines (the Guidelines) that apply to energy businesses in jurisdictions that have adopted the Retail Law. It sets out the manner and form businesses must submit compliance information and data to the AER. The Guidelines also includes guidance on the carrying out of compliance audits under the Retail Law.
On 9 June 2017, the AER released revised guidelines which incorporate new rules introduced by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), refine the reporting framework and new guidance material on compliance audits to better reflect the AER's compliance approach and priorities.
The AER has also released a Practice Guide for Compliance Audits to further supplement the information on compliance audits in the Guidelines.
On 9 December 2016, the AER published for consultation proposed amendments to the Guidelines. Accompanying the draft Guidelines is the Notice of Draft Instrument and the AER's Practice Guide for Compliance Audits, inviting submissions from interested stakeholders.
The Guidelines were last revised in September 2014. Since then, the AEMC has made a number of rule changes to the Retail Rules. Given these developments, there was a need to re-open the Guidelines to consider if any of these rules should be incorporated into the reporting framework. In reviewing the Guidelines, the AER has also proposed amendments to further refine the reporting framework and to revise the guidance material on compliance audits to reflect the AER's approach to utilising its powers under the Retail Law.
Interested parties were invited to make written submissions on the draft Guideline by 23 January 2017. A total of 13 submissions were received.