The AEMC has published a consultation paper on a rule change request from the AER to allow network businesses to make an early start on their demand management incentive schemes (DMIS). 

The DMIS provides incentives to network businesses to use alternatives to ‘poles and wires’ – such as distributed generation like rooftop solar and batteries, as well as demand response and other technologies - where these can address system constraints at the least cost to consumers. 

Under the current National Electricity Rules the revised DMIS is due to start at the beginning of the next network regulatory control period which in some jurisdictions is two to three years away. This reflected a concern when the rule was made, that earlier commencement could cause the reopening of existing distribution determinations. 

However, the DMIS design adopted by the AER and published in December 2017, allows for its application part way through a regulatory control period without requiring a reopening of distributor determinations. The AER therefore proposed this rule change to allow consumers to benefit from the DMIS as soon as possible. 

Under the proposed rule a distribution network business can apply for the scheme during its current regulatory control period by submitting a proposal to the AER. The AER would then assess the proposal and, if approved, decide on a start date. 

The AEMC will consider this rule change as non-controversial under an expedited rule making process, subject to the receipt of any written objections from stakeholders by 6 March 2018. 

Submissions on the rule change request are due 20 March 2018. A final determination is due 3 April 2018.

Media: Prudence Anderson, Communications Director, 0404 821 935 or DL (02) 8296 7817