First trial sandboxing waiver granted to Endeavour Energy!
11 October 2023
The Australian Energy Regulator
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) regulates electricity networks and covered gas pipelines in all jurisdictions except Western Australia. The AER sets the amount of revenue that network businesses can recover from customers for using these networks. The AER also enforces the laws for the National Electricity Market (NEM) and spot gas markets in southern and eastern Australia, as well as monitoring and reporting on the conduct of market participants and the effectiveness of competition.
(AER) has granted its first trial waiver
The Regulatory Sandboxing trial waiver function allows the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to grant a time limited trial waiver for eligible trial projects, exempting an innovator from having to comply with specified rules for a period of time to allow a trial to proceed. The Victorian Regulatory Sandboxing trial waiver function allows Essential Services Commission (ESC) to issue trial waivers providing time limited relief from Victorian energy frameworks. For more information, please see our trials page and the AER's Trial Projects Guidelines.
through the Energy Innovation Toolkit to upgrade around 5,600 smart meters in parts of Greater Western Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands and the Illawarra region of NSW at no cost to the recipient customers.
Endeavour Energy has been granted the waiver to implement a trial that is expected to improve the delivery of load management services that reduce electricity consumption at peak periods, which is intended to ultimately lower electricity network costs for consumers. The trial should also enable trial participants to access new and innovative energy services that are only accessible with a smart meter.
The rollout of smart meter upgrades presents significant benefits for both consumers and industry. The trial can help consumers reduce their electricity bills through access to new products and tariffs, better integrated technology and improved understanding of their energy use.
The trial was approved under the AER’s regulatory sandboxing
A Regulatory Sandboxing mechanism is a framework within which participants can test innovative concepts in the market under relaxed regulatory requirements at a smaller scale, on a time-limited basis and with appropriate safeguards in place. Regulatory Sandboxing mechanisms usually also offer enquiry services, which provide innovators with informal guidance on existing regulation. The Energy Innovation Toolkit is a Regulatory Sandboxing mechanism.
powers allowing a time-limited waiver from certain regulatory requirements through the Energy Innovation Toolkit, and is subject to a range of conditions including consumer protection measures, reporting requirements and other obligations.
Lessons learned from Endeavour Energy’s trial will inform longer-term, necessary transitions and help other jurisdictions to accelerate the roll-out of smart meters.
The trial will last for 30 months and learnings will be shared publicly at the conclusion of the trial in 2025. The EIT may publish updates on trial progression throughout this period.