Hundreds of thousands of people are customers in embedded power networks like apartment buildings, shopping centres, retirement villages and caravan parks which are regulated differently to the national grid.
In January 2019 the AEMC released a draft comprehensive reform package to give the fast-rising number of people in new embedded networks access to the same rights, protections and prices as everyone else.
As part of our ongoing consultation on the package, a workshop was held on 8 May 2019 in Sydney to enable stakeholders to provide input on whether and how to transition existing embedded network customers to the proposed new arrangements. These changes would extend important consumer protections and access to retail market competition to customers in some existing embedded networks. A recording of the webcast is now available on our website.
The AEMC welcomed input from representatives of industry, consumers and state governments and regulators on the:
- types of existing embedded networks that should be covered by the new arrangements, including proposed time-based and size-based triggers
- process for transitioning the relevant legacy embedded networks into the new arrangements through retail authorisation and network registration
- overall approach to the implementation of the new framework, including the process of amending the national energy laws and rules, the review of legislation by jurisdictional governments, the updating of guidelines and systems by other market bodies, and industry readiness.
A final report for the review is due to be published in late June 2019.
Media: Prudence Anderson, Communication Director, 0404 821 935 or DL (02) 8296 7817.
Embedded networks are private electricity networks which serve multiple customers from a connection point to the national grid which is managed by an exempt network service provider.
Generally, these exempt network service providers on-sell electricity to their customers in these off-market networks like shopping centres, retirement villages, apartment blocks and caravan parks. In recent years, installing and operating embedded networks has evolved into a new business model for parties whose core activity is supplying and selling energy, especially in high density apartment buildings, commercial districts and residential villages.
This has placed the arrangements for embedded networks, which were originally designed for small networks such as caravan parks where the supply of energy was incidental to the main business activity, under stress. In late 2017, the AEMC found that these arrangements were no longer fit for purpose in our Review of regulatory arrangements for embedded networks.