Legal development

Australian electricity and gas markets January update 212023 70250 AM

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    What you need to do

    Stakeholders should note the new the reports and guidelines published below, and note the deadlines for making submissions.

    National Electricity Rules 

    No electricity rule change requests were initiated in January. No Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) determinations relevant to the National Electricity Rules were published.

    National Energy Retail Rules

    No retail rule change requests were initiated in January. No AEMC determinations relevant to the National Energy Retail Rules were published.

    National Gas Rules

    No gas rule change requests were initiated in January. No AEMC determinations relevant to the National Gas Rules were published.

    Other updates

    On 25 January:

    • the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released its Quarterly Energy Dynamics – Q4 2022 report. The report provides energy market participants with information on the market dynamics, trends and outcomes for the National Electricity Market, Wholesale Electricity Market, domestic gas supply arrangements in Western Australia, and east coast gas market highlights during the fourth quarter of 2022 (1 October to 31 December 2022);
    • the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) published its final Trial Projects Guidelines - Regulatory Sandboxing and Explanatory Statement in relation to its Regulatory Sandboxing function that aims to help energy innovators and start-ups trial new products and services that deliver greater choice and cheaper energy options for consumers. The AER delivers the Energy Innovation Toolkit alongside the AEMC, AEMO, Victoria's Essential Services Commission (ESCV) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The sandbox toolkit includes a regulatory waiver power for the AER and a trial rule change process for the AEMC, which will allow for both temporary exemptions from existing rules and for time-limited new rules to be created so that innovative trials can go ahead. The final Trial Projects Guidelines and EXPLANATORY STATEMENT provide guidance on how the AER will assess trial waiver applications and carry out its other functions in relation to trial projects;
    • the AER also published its preliminary Annual Information Orders and accompanying Explanatory Statement which set out the AER's information requirements and apply to electricity distributors, transmission network service providers and interconnectors. Stakeholders are invited to make submissions on the preliminary Orders (including  on the data requirements published here) by 31 March 2023. For more information on making a submission see here; and
    • the AER also released Multinet Gas Distribution Partnership (MGN)'s revised Access arrangement proposal for 2023-28 for its Victorian gas distribution network. MGN's original proposal was submitted in July 2022 and specifies the reference services it will provide, the tariffs for those services and the other terms and conditions on which the services will be provided during the period of 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2028. MGN's revised proposal was submitted in response to the AER's draft decision on MGN's original proposal, which was published on 9 December 2022. Stakeholders are invited to make submissions on both the AER's draft decision and MGN's revised proposal by 23 February 2023. For more information on making a submission see here

    On 27 January, the AER announced that its release of the Draft determination of the Default Market Offer for 2023-24 will be deferred to the week of 13 March 2023. The AER will issue its final determination of the Default Market Offer prices for 2023-24 by 26 May 2023. 

    On 30 January, the AER published its final amended Better Bills Guideline (Version 2).  The amended guideline clarifies the better offer and self-read information requirements for retailers, and aligns the guideline's commencement provisions with the AEMC's Delaying implementation of the AER Billing Guideline determination which changed the date that retailers must comply with the guideline’s new billing provisions from 31 March 2023 to 30 September 2023.

    On 31 January: 

    • the AER published its half-yearly Compliance and enforcement update which highlights the key enforcement actions and outcomes of the AER from July to December 2022; and
    • the AER also published its final decision on Pricing methodologies – System strength pricing which approves the proposed amendments to transmission pricing methodologies for system strength pricing, with amendments being made to three of the proposed methodologies.

    Please click here to see our latest Energy Alerts, as part of our Energy Alert Series.  

    Authors: Paul Newman, Partner; Andre Dauwalder,  Counsel; and Alexia Cuss, Graduate.

    The information provided is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice, or to cover all aspects of those referred to.
    Readers should take legal advice before applying it to specific issues or transactions.

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