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 18 September 2018, the AER released revised guidelines which incorporates new rules introduced by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), refines the reporting framework and provides new guidance material on compliance audits to better reflect the AER's compliance approach and priorities.
The AER has also released an updated Practice Guide for Compliance Audits to further supplement the information on compliance audits in the Guidelines.
On 1 April 2019 the revised Guidelines – Version 6 will come into effect.
An amended Reporting Template will be published and businesses notified in March 2019.
Prior to 1 April 2019 the Compliance Procedures and Guidelines (December 2017) apply. For reporting periods, Q1 and Q2 and H1, businesses must us use the Compliance Reporting Template (October 2018).
On 18 June 2018, the AER published for consultation proposed amendments to the Guidelines. Accompanying the draft Guidelines was the Notice of Draft Instruments. Interested parties and stakeholder were invited to make a submission.
The Guidelines were last substantially revised in June 2017. The AEMC has since 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 17 July 2018. A total of 8 submissions were received.