Market Review: Completed
On 21 September 2023, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) made final recommendations to improve compliance with technical standards for consumer energy resources (CER).
- immediate action by industry, jurisdictions and market bodies under existing frameworks
- jurisdictions develop a new national regulatory framework for CER technical standards.
These recommendations will support more standardised interactions between behind-the-meter devices such as rooftop PV, electric vehicles and battery energy storage systems.
Immediate actions under the existing rules
The final report recommends 10 immediate actions across the lifecycle for CER devices.
Stage one: simplify device settings at manufacture and supply
- Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to make ‘Region A’ the default device setting.
- OEMs to remove historical versions of CER technical standards from the settings menu for the inverter on new CER devices, to the extent possible, while maintaining obligations to meet the terms of device warranties.
- The Clean Energy Council (CEC) to incorporate existing and any future NER CER technical standards, as they evolve over time, in the requirements for approved sellers voluntarily participating in the New Energy Tech Consumer Code (NETCC).
Stage two: promote compliant installation
- Training on standards in the NER to be mandatory for accreditation under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). This would be undertaken by entities administering SRES accreditation.
- Jurisdictions to fund training on CER technical standards for installers.
- The CEC to publish and make freely available guidance material for installers to support configuring devices in compliance with CER technical standards in the NER. This would be done by the CEC voluntarily as a form of industry self-regulation.
- Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) to introduce commissioning processes to verify correct device installation before connecting new CER devices to the grid.
Stage three: support ongoing compliance
- OEMs to voluntarily update devices remotely where possible to remedy non-compliance with NER CER technical standards.
- OEMs to provide data to DNSPs and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to better support monitoring of non-compliance.
- Jurisdictions to subsidise reconfiguration, remote update or re-installation of non-compliant CER devices on behalf of consumers.
A national regulatory framework for CER technical standards
We recommend jurisdictions lead the development of a national regulatory framework for CER technical standards.
This may be progressed as part of the National Energy Transformation Partnership and would help ensure a more enduring national framework for CER technical standards.
To assist jurisdictions, the AEMC has undertaken a preliminary assessment of four initial reform options for consideration.
- Create a new national technical body.
- Expand the role of the AER and the AEMC under the NEL
- Expand the role of the Clean Energy Regulator
- Enforce national requirements under jurisdictional frameworks
Energy consumers benefit from improved compliance
Non-compliance with technical standards negatively impacts all electricity consumers. It threatens power system security, reduces the amount of new CER that can connect to the grid, and puts upward pressure on power prices.
By contrast, improved compliance with existing CER technical standards would lead to significant benefits for electricity consumers.
The AEMC will continue to work with jurisdictions and other market bodies to support reform of the regulatory framework for CER technical standards.