On 6 August 2019 the AEMC held a hearing prior to the final determination for the Wholesale demand response mechanism rule change request. Nine stakeholders presented their views on the draft determination to the Commissioners. 

Only a few hearings have ever been conducted by the AEMC. Hearings serve a special purpose. They are for stakeholders to present views to AEMC Commissioners in person. Hearings are in addition to all other consultation stages carried out by the AEMC. 

The transcript and the documents presented to the Commissioners are now available from the project page. 

Submissions in relation to issues raised at the hearing and/or on the draft determination are due by 12 September 2019.

The final determination will be published on 14 November 2019.

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

Stakeholder workshops

The AEMC is holding two stakeholder workshops on the draft determination. These workshops provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the draft determination and draft rule with AEMC staff and Commissioners.

The first workshop will be held on 16 August 2019 in Sydney and will focus on matters that arise specifically for retailers under the draft rule. Representatives from electricity retailer businesses can register for this workshop here.

The second workshop will be held on 22 August 2019 in Sydney and will be open to all interested stakeholders with questions or feedback about the draft rule. Stakeholders can register for this workshop here.

For those unable to attend the workshops, please contact Declan Kelly at Declan.Kelly@aemc.gov.au and a briefing can be arranged to answer stakeholder questions about the draft rule and determination.

Draft determination

On 18 July 2019 the AEMC released a draft determination to implement a wholesale demand response mechanism.

Under the draft rule, a new category of registered participant, a demand response service provider (DRSP), would be able to bid demand response directly into the wholesale market as a substitute for generation. A DRSP could also engage directly with a customer without the involvement of that customer’s retailer.

The mechanism introduced under the draft rule is designed to provide greater opportunities for consumers to participate in the wholesale market by bidding in demand reductions as a substitute for generation, thereby unlocking under-utilised demand response in the national electricity market. The Commission considers that the mechanism will promote greater demand side transparency, as well as price and reliability-related benefits.

The Commission considers it important to provide opportunities to all consumers to participate in wholesale demand response. However, it is also important to make sure that appropriate energy-specific consumer protections are provided to consumers participating in the mechanism. As a result, the draft rule does not provide for small consumers to participate in the mechanism.

The substantive parts of the rule implementing the wholesale demand response mechanism are proposed to commence on 1 July 2022. The Commission has also made a series of complementary changes and recommendations relating to increasing transparency of wholesale demand response in the wholesale market.