The National Energy Retail Law (Retail Law) requires that anyone selling energy to customers must either hold a retailer authorisation or a retail exemption. While most sellers of energy will hold an authorisation, there will be some circumstances where an authorisation is not appropriate. This could include retirement villages, caravan parks or any other arrangement where an owner purchases energy from an authorised retailer and then 'onsells' the energy to customers.
The Retail Law allows these types of entities to be exempted from the requirement to hold a retailer authorisation and sets out the exemptions framework. The AER is responsible for regulating exempt persons and determining appropriate exemption conditions.
There are three types of exemption:
- deemed exemptions,
- registrable exemptions, and
- individual exemptions.
To manage this process, the AER has published the Retail Exempt Selling Guideline. The Guideline explains how to register or apply for, a retail exemption. It also discusses the factors that the AER will consider in assessing individual exemption applications. The Guideline sets out the various classes of deemed and registrable exemptions, and the conditions attached to each exemption class.
The AER released version 5 of the Guideline on 16 March 2018. It replaced the previous Exempt Selling Guideline of March 2016.