AER announce a transitional approach for Embedded Network compliance.

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has announced that embedded network operators have until 31 March 2018, rather than 1 December 2018, to appoint an Embedded Network Manager.

During this period embedded network operators will need to demonstrate that they are getting the ball rolling, and taking the necessary steps to appoint an Embedded Network Manager. AER have explained that this transitional approach has been announced to give operators more time to adjust to the new requirements, and to also give Embedded Network Managers more time to fulfil their accreditation with Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

AER are keen to focus on educating the market on these changes, and will not actively pursue enforcement of the National Energy Regulator (NER) requirements during the transition phase, which is a good new story for any property groups out there with an embedded network.

Who needs an Embedded Network Manager?

Before we can define this, we should quickly outline how customers are sold electricity in an embedded network:

  • Off Market customer > The property owner (or in other words, the embedded network operator) buys energy in bulk from a retailer and on-sells the energy to customers within the property’s embedded network.
  • On Market customer > A customer within an embedded network has their meter registered in MSATS, which is AEMO’s wholesale market system. As a result, this customer can ‘shop around’ between various retailers in order to identify their most favourable rate.

Giving customers more options in regards to the way they use and manage their bills, are key objectives of AER’s “Power of Choice” program. This program covers a host of rules, including the introduction of the Embedded Network Managers accreditation.

Under these rules, anyone who owns, operates or controls an embedded network (unless they have a special exemption) must appoint an Embedded Network Manager. If you’re an embedded network operator, this interactive flowchart from AER will help you confirm if you need an Embedded Network Manager.

Why haven’t enough Embedded Network Managers been appointed?

According to AER, lots of service providers have shown interest in accreditation with AEMO, but it’s taking time to process their applications. The transition period has been introduced to allow more businesses to become accredited, so that embedded network operators have access to these services and can achieve compliance steadily, instead of making waves with an urgent deadline. Voltio is currently seeking Embedded Network Manager accreditation from AEMO.

Next Steps

If you’d like to know more, or it you’re interested in building or upgrading your embedded network, please give us a call – 1300 865 846.