Rule Change: Open
On 7 July 2020, SA Power Networks (SAPN) submitted a rule change request seeking to amend the National Electricity Rules (NER) applying to the economic regulation of distribution network service providers (DNSPs) in the National Electricity Market (NEM). The proposed amendments may also require consequential changes to the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR).
The SAPN rule change request is one of three requests that aim to better facilitate the efficient integration of distributed energy resources (DER) for the grid of the future. The other requests are submitted by the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria on 02 July 2020, and the Total Environmental Centre jointly with the Australian Council of Social Services on 7 July 2020. The three requests are being considered by the Commission concurrently. On 12 November 2020, the Commission published a consolidation notice related to the consolidation of ERC0311, ERC0310 and ERC0309.
AEMC’s draft rule
On 25 March 2021, the AEMC made a determination for preferable draft electricity and retail rules to integrate distributed energy resources, such as small-scale solar and batteries, more efficiently into the electricity grid.
The more preferable draft rules are expected to harness the benefits of distributed energy resources by clarifying networks’ role in efficiently providing two-way services, while enabling benefits to accrue to all electricity system users.
Details of the draft rule
The more preferable draft rules amend the NER and the NERR to integrate distributed energy resources more efficiently into the electricity grid. The key aspects of the draft rules are:
- Updating the regulatory framework to clarify that distribution services are two-way and include export services. This officially recognises energy export as a service provided by distribution networks and gives consumers more influence over what export services networks deliver and how efficiently they deliver them.
- This will encourage distribution networks to deliver export services that customers value. Currently there are no financial penalties for poor network export service and no rewards for improvements.
- Enabling distribution networks to offer two-way pricing for export services, allowing them to develop options that reward owners of distributed energy resources for sending power to the grid when it is needed and charging them for sending power when it is not. This is designed to reward customers for actions that better use the network or improve its operations, and helps allocate costs in a more equitable and efficient way.
- Allowing flexible pricing solutions at the network level, enabling distribution networks to develop pricing options to suit their capability, customer preferences and jurisdictional policies.
Public consultation update: distributed energy resources
The Commission has extended the deadline for submissions to its draft determination on integrating distributed energy resources like household solar and batteries into the power system.
Stakeholder submissions on this rule change are now due on 27 May 2021.
The Commission held a virtual public forum on 20 May to discuss the draft determination. A video recording of the forum can be found here and the presentation slides can be found below.
Consultation process so far
This package of reforms follows a nine-month process of working with stakeholders as part of ARENA’s Distributed Energy Integration Program. The program was led by a steering group of consumer representatives, industry association and energy market bodies. As a result of that work, the St Vincent de Paul Society, the Total Environment Centre, the Australian Council of Social Services and South Australian Power Networks requested the AEMC change the rules.
The rule change process to date has also included extensive engagements with a range of stakeholders. As well as considering the issues raised in submissions to our consultation paper, the Commission formed a technical working group to consider key issues in advance of making our draft determination. We will continue consulting with stakeholders to inform the thinking for our final determination in July 2021.
Media: Kellie Bisset, Media and Content Manager M: 0438 490041
Public forum - draft determination
Submissions from Individuals
Private Late Submissions
TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP
|Consultation Paper||Information sheet|
|CEPA Report||Electricity Notice|
|Retail Notice||Notice of consolidation/extension - Electricity|
|Notice of extension - Retail||Consumer FAQs|