Insights

19/10/17

Australian Energy Regulatory Market Update | Period up to 16 October 2017

G+T were pleased to sponsor and participate in the AFR energy summit last week.  While pricing concerns and the CET continued to dominate the debate and most of the coverage, the event highlighted (if there was any doubt) the dynamism and innovation that has come to characterise energy markets, in all their forms.  The challenges are certainly complex – but there is real cause for optimism. 

Energy is certainly no longer a boring utility business.

This update covers the last two weeks (to Friday 13 October) so does not include the ACCC preliminary report in response to its Retail Energy Pricing Inquiry or the Energy Security Board’s recommendation to COAG Energy Ministers on a Retailer Reliability and Emissions Guarantee.

In other developments: 

  • The COAG Energy Council have outlined the legislative steps that will be taken over the next few months to implement binding rate of return guidelines.  The new guidelines, which need to be in place by the end of 2018 for the East Coast market, will be mandatory for the AER in upcoming regulatory resets;
     
  • Still related to the next round of rests – the Energy Council are also looking at ways to improve resourcing for consumer and customer groups in those processes;
     
  • AEMO has published an update to the 2017 Gas Statement of Opportunities which projects a risk of gas shortfalls in 2018 and 2019.  Also this fortnight, on a similar theme, the ACCC released its first interim report into the supply of and demand for wholesale gas in Australia:
     
  • AEMO and ARENA announced 10 pilot projects (200MW of which 143MW will be available by summer) that will receive funding, aimed at providing demand response during extreme demand peaks.  The winners are varied and include retailers, a distribution network, some aggregators and customer/demand response developer:
     
  • The AER has released an issues paper seeking feedback on ways to improve the quality and accessibility of information customers receive about energy offers, a subject receiving a lot of political attention recently;
     
  • The AEMC has made final rule determinations in relation to the management of frequency and power system fault levels as well as a final rule on enhancements of the breadth and accuracy of information provided through the Natural Gas Bulletin Board; and
     
  • At a state level, the ESC published its quarterly report on the Victorian retail market, WA appointed a new CEO for the ERA (Ms Jenness Gardner) and ESCOSA released a consultation on its strategic direction, ahead of development of a strategic plan.

… oh, and for the regulatory tragics, there are new versions of both the NGR and NER.

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