New rules improving consultation on subordinate instruments in the National Electricity Rules (NER) and National Gas Rules (NGR) come into effect on 11 August 2022.

The final rules let decision-makers choose from a broader range of consultation processes so they can more flexibly manage the substantial reforms facing energy markets. While the process provides the certainty and transparency that market participants expect from robust consultation. 

The electricity rule introduces two fit-for-purpose consultation processes that can be applied depending on which is most appropriate to the case:

  • one for non-material changes, including new instruments (the expedited process)
  • one for minor and administrative changes. 

The standard two rounds of consultation will be retained for changes likely to significantly affect the NEM or the activities of market participants. 

Recognising that consultation can reveal more complexity than originally envisaged, the new rule also allows consulting parties and stakeholders to request a switch from the new expedited process to the standard two-round process.

The changes also simplify and give more certainty about consultation timeframes, allowing decision-makers to extend a standard process when the circumstances change or matters are complex.

The gas rule removes the extended consultative procedure from the NGR. Instead, parties will consult according to the standard and flexible two-round process.

No changes have been made to the retail consultation procedures in the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR).

This initial rule change was requested by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and supported by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). It aimed to make consultation procedures more flexible and fit for purpose.

When the rule comes into effect it will not affect any existing processes underway before the implementation date.

Visit the project page for more information and contact details.