Legal development

Australian electricity and gas markets – October 2023 update

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    In our October update, we take a look at the latest rule changes and market updates affecting participants in the Australian electricity and gas markets.

    What you need to do:

    • Stakeholders should note the market updates below, and note any impacts on their compliance obligations.

    National Electricity Rules

    On 5 October 2023, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) published that a draft determination for the Enhancing Reserve Information rule change (formerly Operating Reserves) will be delivered by 14 December 2023. The extension allows more time to consult with stakeholders in response to issues raised in submissions to the directions paper.

    On 12 October 2023, the AEMC published that:

    • work is being conducted on reform to unlock the full potential of consumer resources (CER) including rooftop solar, batteries and electric vehicles. The AEMC has extended the period of time for making the draft report, which is now expected to be published by 29 February 2024; and
    • the Reliability Panel will apply an emissions reduction objective in its day-to-day duties including development of standards, guidelines, reports and recommendations for the energy market, with the release of a guide for decision-making today. Publication of the guide follows the passing and gazettal of the Emissions Reduction Objectives Bill 2023 in the South Australian parliament on 14 June to cement the emissions reduction component in the National Electricity Objective.

    On 23 October 2032, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) published a Directions Paper on social licence for electricity transmission projects. The paper sets out the current approach to social licence issues and covers how transmission networks may appropriately address social licence under the regulatory framework.

    On 26 October 2023, the AEMC applied the new emissions reduction amendments in the national energy laws to the energy rules, as a way of providing clarity and investment certainty to enable the transition to net zero. The draft rules are set out in a draft determination for stakeholder consultation, following rule change requests from energy ministers to ‘harmonise’ or align the electricity and gas rules with recent changes to the law, so that energy market bodies and networks can explicitly consider emissions reduction in their decision making.

    National Energy Retail Rules

    On 5 October 2023, the AER released the issues paper for the default market offer (DMO) for 2024-2025. The DMO is a maximum price that retailers can charge electricity customers on standing offer contracts. 

    National Gas Rules

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

    Other Updates

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

    Authors: Andre Dauwalder, Counsel; Nikita Summers, 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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