Legal development

Australian electricity and gas markets January update

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    What you need to do

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

    There have been a number of very significant developments and we have published detailed articles on them – the links to our articles are included in the information below.

    National Electricity Rules

    On 10 January 2022, AEMCs Minor changes 3 2021 rule change came into effect. This rule change corrects minor errors and makes non-material changes to the NER to improve their quality. The final determination and rule can be accessed here.

    On 10 January 2022, the Implementing a general power system risk review rule change came into effect (Schedule 2 of the final rule will commence on 2 June 2021). This rule change implements a holistic General Power System Risk Review (GPSRR) to replace the previous Power System Frequency Risk Review. The GPSRR is an annual review requiring AEMO, in collaboration with NSPs, to identify and assess risks to power system security that it expects would be likely to lead to cascading outages or major supply disruptions. The rule change includes a transitional period and requires AEMO to complete the first GPSRR by 31 July 2023. The final determination and rule can be accessed here.

    On 27 January 2022, the AEMCs Reliability Panel released an issues paper on the review of the reliability standard and settings on the NEM. The Reliability Panel will consider whether the existing form of the standard and settings are sufficient for future market conditions, particularly given the variables around renewable resources, extreme weather events and limited energy storage. The standard and settings aim to encourage investment in generation or demand response capacity while protecting the market from risk. Stakeholder submissions to the issues paper are due on 3 March 2022. The issues paper and information sheet can be accessed here.

    National Energy Retail Rules

    No AEMC consultation papers or determinations relevant to the NERR were published.

    National Gas Rules

    No AEMC consultation papers or determinations relevant to the NGR were published.

    Other updates

    On 7 January 2022, the AER published its transparency review of AEMO's draft 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP) for the NEM. The AER found that AEMO adequately explained the majority of its inputs and assumptions, and how they contribute to the draft ISP outcomes. The AER's report can be accessed here.

    On 19 January 2022, the AER published draft guidelines for consultation that will govern how distributors should develop and justify two-way export tariff proposals as a result of the AEMC's Access, pricing and incentive arrangements for distributed energy resources rule change. The draft guidelines include guidance on:

    • customer protections and the need for any two-way pricing proposals to be justified;
    • the potential structure of any two-way pricing proposals;
    • the AER’s process for approving or not approving any two-way pricing proposals;
    • the AER’s expectations of networks to consult with their customers if they plan to introduce two-way pricing; and
    • the basic export level, or free export service, which must accompany any two-way pricing proposals.

    Consultation on the draft guidelines is open until 8 March 2022. The draft guidelines can be accessed here.

    On 20 January 2022, the AER published the revised proposal relating to the Roma to Brisbane Pipeline for the 2022-27 access arrangement period. Stakeholder submissions are due on 18 February 2022. The revised proposal can be accessed here.

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

    Authors: Paul Newman (Partner), Andre Dauwalder (Senior Associate), Nicholas Berrey (Graduate)