Rule Change: Completed
On 30 June 2016 the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) made a final rule, which is a more preferable final rule, in relation to two rule change requests received from the COAG Energy Council and from Red Energy and Lumo Energy to update the electricity business-to-business (B2B) framework. The B2B framework provides for communications between businesses for certain services related to small customer electricity meters.
The final rule amends the National Electricity Rules to provide for a wider range of services being available through small customer meters as well as providing for any additional parties that may be interested in providing or accessing those services. Specifically, the final rule:
- amends the membership and governance arrangements for the Information Exchange Committee, the body responsible for developing and recommending changes to the B2B procedures;
- makes changes to the process and criteria for making B2B procedures;
- clarifies the requirements for the B2B e-hub, the electronic platform that can be used to send communications;
- creates a new accredited party role and requires anyone who uses the B2B e-hub to obtain accreditation;
- clarifies which parties are subject to rights and obligations under the B2B framework;
- clarifies which parties are subject to the cost recovery provisions and the costs that are recoverable; and
- provides for arrangements during the transitional period between 30 June 2016 and 1 December 2017.
These changes are expected to enhance the benefits from the new competitive metering framework being introduced under the expanding competition in metering and related services final rule, which will commence on 1 December 2017.
A shared communication method is expected to improve interoperability as participants may only need to develop one set of processes in order to interact with other participants in the market. It is expected to reduce barriers to entry for new participants providing new services that are enabled by advanced meters. It is also expected to reduce the costs of providing those services.
The final rule amends certain provisions of Chapters 7, 8, 10 and 11 of the National Electricity Rules on 30 June 2016. It also makes further amendments on 1 December 2017 to Chapters 2, 7, 8 and 10 of the National Electricity Rules. These amendments are aligned with the commencement of the new framework for metering services under the Expanding competition in metering and related services final rule and the new arrangements under the Embedded networks final rule.
The AEMC received two rule change requests – from Red Energy and Lumo Energy and from the COAG Energy Council – to update the B2B communications framework in the National Electricity Rules.
Red Energy and Lumo Energy submitted a rule change request and proposed rule on 7 December 2015.
The COAG Energy Council submitted a rule change request and proposed rule on 11 December 2015.
The AEMC consolidated the two rule change requests under s. 93 of the National Electricity Law, as they raised similar issues.
On 17 December 2015 the AEMC published a consultation paper to facilitate public discussion on the issues raised in the consolidated rule change requests. Consultation closed on 28 January 2016 and 19 submissions were received.
On 7 April 2016, the AEMC published its draft rule determination and draft rule. A public forum was held in Melbourne on 29 April 2016 to provide an early opportunity for stakeholder to provide comments to the AEMC for the preparation of the final rule determination.
Consultation on the draft rule determination closed on 19 May 2016 and 18 submissions were received.