Energy

  • The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) Chairman, Andrew Reeves appeared before the Senate Committee into electricity prices and outlined reforms needed to deliver greater benefits for electricity consumers. The complete AER submission is available here.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) published consultation rules on electricity savings and transitional arrangements as part of a rule change on the regulation of network services.  The consultation rules indicate how the savings and transitional arrangements for electricity proposed by the AEMC in a consultation paper released on 14 September 2012 might be implemented.
  • The AEMC intends to publish separately consultation rules on gas savings and transitional arrangements.
  • The AER released draft decisions on APA GasNet’s and SP AusNet’s access arrangements, including charges for use of its gas transmission network, for the 2013–17 period.
  • The AEMC published a final rule determination in respect of the Major Energy User Inc’s (MEU’s) rule change requests on the optimisation of the regulatory asset base and the continued use of fully depreciated assets that are still useful.  The Commission has decided not to make a rule in response to the MEU’s rule change requests.
  • The AEMC called for comment on a draft report released by the Power of choice review that includes proposals for change to the electricity supply chain, enabling greater demand-side participation in the National Energy Market (NEM) to help minimise costs of supply.  The review proposes reforms to the electricity market framework and rules to help make these changes possible.
  • The AEMC Reliability Panel published its draft report setting out proposed amendments to the guidelines for identifying reviewable operating incidents.   
  • The AER considered submissions on a discussion paper and has now released a Position paper setting out its view on whether or not a nationally consistent Distribution Ring Fencing Guideline should be developed.  Based on its assessment, the AER’s preferred position is to develop a national ring-fencing guideline to apply to electricity distributors in the NEM.         
  • The AEMC published a final rule and associated final rule determination on proposed amendments to the operation of the cost pass through provisions for electricity network service providers. 
  • The AEMC published its final report to the NSW Government on costs and benefits of possible changes to the State’s future level of distribution reliability.  The AEMC is of the view that reductions in capital expenditure under all three of the review’s scenarios for lower distribution investment significantly outweighed the costs to customers of slightly lower levels of reliability.
  • The AEMC Reliability Panel has released an issues paper and initiated a review on the Energy Adequacy Assessment Projection provisions under the NER.
  • The AEMC published a final rule and associated final rule determination on market schedule variation transactions in the short term trading market (STTM) for gas.
  • The AEMC published its draft advice in relation to its review of the energy market arrangements for electric and natural gas vehicles, which is aligned with the AEMC's power of choice review. 
  • The AEMC proposed new draft rules to better equip the regulator to set network prices so consumers don’t pay more than necessary for reliable supplies of electricity and gas.  The draft determination would: allow the AER to benchmark network businesses against each other; require the AER to publish annual benchmarking reports on network business performance; and allow the AER to take past efficiency into account when determining future spending allowances for network businesses.
  • The AER published its access arrangement decision, information and terms and conditions for the Roma to Brisbane Pipeline (RBP) for the period 1 September 2012 to 30 June 2017.  

Communications

  • NBN Co has withdrawn the SAU (lodged last year) just prior to the ACCC’s decision which had been set for 17 September 2012.  The ACCC and NBN Co have been working to progress preparation of a revised undertaking.
  • The ACCC issued a consultation paper on the draft section 151DB list of points of interconnection to the NBN.  The ACCC considered that, as it is the first time the section 151DB list of points of interconnection has been made, it is appropriate to seek stakeholder comments.