Changes to the AER’s Network Service Provider Registration Exemption Guidelines

How will your electricity supply arrangements be impacted?

The AER’s Network Service Provider Registration Guidelines detail anyone who owns, controls or operates an electricity network under the National Electricity Law (NEL). Under the National Energy Retail Law (NERL) any person or business that sells energy to another person for use at premises must have either a retailer authorisation or a retail exemption.

The exemption guidelines explain which electricity network activities are deemed exempt.  It sets the conditions for all the exemption classes pre-defined by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). The guidelines determine who, and what types of energy sale or supply activities, can be exempt, and any conditions that apply to the exemptions.

A recent review of these guidelines has seen some significant changes which will impact people or businesses that are involved in allowing anyone else to use electricity by connecting to wiring for example, body corporate’s, marina’s, holiday parks, retirement villages, etc.

We have summarised the changes and highlighted the main issues as below:

  • Exempt Sellers are no longer permitted to recover costs not associated with a tenant’s consumption.
  • Trusts are no longer permitted to be exempt sellers.
  • Agency services providers are not permitted to hold exemptions.
  • Exempt sellers in Queensland will be deemed to be EWOQ members by default, giving EWOQ authority to impose penalties.
  • The AER has imposed a de facto right to impose new conditions on exempt sellers at its own discretion.
  • Significant increase in penalties for non-compliant Bodies Corporate - up to $10m, or 3 times the benefit received due to non-compliance, or 10% of the annual Body Corporate turnover at its discretion.
  • Exempt Holders must now offer full hardship protections, including the development and registration of hardship policies. Section too long to provide.

With a risk of major fines, businesses need to consider adjustments to their current business practices to avoid any major impact.

VRT Systems has the experience and expertise to prevent operational or financial business impacts by these changes.  Our team is available to discuss the guideline amendments and the necessary solutions.

Included in our solution offerings, our team can:

  • Perform a compliance audit (electrical, metering, billing), taking the risk from the Body Corporate.
  • Provide compliant metering installation upgrades,
  • Provide rectification works to the electrical network,
  • Introduce one of our Embedded Network Retail partners to operate the embedded network.