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- I am a residential or small customer and want help with my electricity or natural gas bill or supply. This includes wanting more information or to make a complaint.
Please contact your energy supplier or energy ombudsman.
- I am not a residential or small customer and want help with my electricity or natural gas bill or supply.
Please refer to your individual energy supply contract for the terms and conditions of your service, or contact your energy supplier for more information.
- I want to propose a rule change, or make a submission to the AEMC, about an electricity or natural gas matter.
Please select either electricity or gas to be taken to the appropriate page.
- I want to know more about the National Energy Customer Framework. This includes information for proposing a rule change, or making a submission, about a retail energy matter.
Please continue reading below.
- I am not sure which option best describes me.
Please contact us for further assistance.
Overview of the National Energy Customer Framework
The National Energy Customer Framework refers to a national arrangement that governs the sale and supply of electricity and natural gas to retail customers.
The National Energy Customer Framework has commenced in the following jurisdictions:
- The Australian Capital Territory (commenced 1 July 2012);
- Tasmania (commenced 1 July 2012)
- The Commonwealth (commenced 1 July 2012)
- South Australia (commenced 1 February 2013)
The New South Wales Government has announced that the customer framework will commence in New South Wales on 1 July 2013. Other jurisdictions are expected to follow in accordance with their own implementation plans.
Development of the customer framework was overseen by the Council of Australian Governments through the Standing Council on Energy and Resources (formerly known as the Ministerial Council on Energy), with the purpose of supporting the delivery of a national and efficient energy market as set out in the Australian Energy Market Agreement (AEMA).
Legally, the customer framework consists of a package of reforms: these are the National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011, which implements the framework, together with the National Energy Retail Regulations 2012, the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR), and various amendments to regulations and rules under the separate wholesale electricity and natural gas regimes.
The AEMC is the rule-making body for the NERR. This means that, while the initial rules have been made by the SA Minister under powers in the NERL, we are responsible for all subsequent changes or amendments to them. This is in line with our current role as the rule-making body in relation to the National Electricity Rules (NER) and National Gas Rules (NGR).
Application Acts in each participating jurisdiction set out the specific jurisdictional arrangements of each jurisdiction for transitioning to the NECF, and any jurisdiction-specific requirements. (Click here for more information on the law).
The primary concerns of the customer framework are:
- the relationship between retailers and their customers, the rights and obligations of each party, and consumer protection measures;
- the relationship between distributors and customers and retailers, the rights and obligations of each party, and consumer protection measures;
- retailer authorisations (licences) to sell electricity and/or natural gas to customers; and
- ensuring that retailers and distributors comply with their obligations under the customer framework.
These changes recognise that many of our day-to-day activities are increasingly dependent on the availability of a reliable electricity and/or natural gas supply.
The National Energy Retail Objective
The national energy retail objective guides the AEMC in carrying out our functions under the energy retail law, as well as in our assessment of energy retail rule change requests and the development of market advice to policy makers. It does this by focussing our attention on achieving economic efficiency that is in the long term interests of consumers of energy.
The objective is set out in section 13 of the National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011 and is reproduced below:
The objective of this Law is to promote efficient investment in, and efficient operation and use of, energy services for the long term interests of consumers of energy with respect to price, quality, safety, reliability and security of supply of energy.
Other rule making tests may also apply depending on the subject matter of the rule change request.