Energy legislation is changing fast, and it's important to stay informed about how upcoming changes may affect your project. This page explains how to subscribe via email for updates on the areas of energy legislation targeted by the Energy Innovation Toolkit's regulatory relief, and where to go for more information on changes to jurisdictional requirements.
National energy laws and jurisdictional legislation are in a constant state of change.
Amendments are common, and are often targeted at specific aspects of the operation of energy markets.
Where changes occur, it is important to stay informed so you know whether your project is compliant, and so you know what you need to do.
Different bodies are responsible for different areas of energy legislation change, which occur under different processes.
You can subscribe via email to the Australian Energy Market CommissionThe Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is an independent statutory body that works for Australia's future productivity and living standards by contributing to a decarbonising, affordable and reliable energy system for consumers. The AEMC makes and amends the National Electricity Rules (NER), the National Gas Rules (NGR), and the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR), and manages the rule change process. The AEMC does this in accordance with the national energy objectives, the central focus of which is the long-term interests of consumers. They also provide market development advice to governments.(AEMC), the Essential Services CommissionThe Essential Services Commission (ESC) is an independent regulator that promotes the long-term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. In Victoria, the ESC has responsibility for licensing and licence exemptions in the electricity and gas markets. The ESC licenses various activities including electricity and gas retail and distribution, electricity transmission, and electricity generation. The ESC also makes and enforces customer protections and other rules predominately in the electricity and gas retail and distribution markets in Victoria, where the National Energy Retail Law (NERL) and the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) don't apply.(ESC) and the Australian Energy RegulatorThe 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) to receive updates on upcoming changes to the frameworks these bodies manage.
Our Regulation Navigator tool, Australian energy markets explainer page, and Innovation Enquiry Service and can help you understand which jurisdictional requirements may impact your project, so you can contact relevant state and territory regulators to receive updates through their channels.
Who makes changes to energy regulation, and how?
National energy laws
The AEMC makes and amends the below laws and their subordinate legislation (rules, regulations and guidelines):
- The National Electricity Law
The National Electricity Law (NEL) is contained in a Schedule to the National Electricity (South Australia) Act 1996. It establishes the governance framework and key obligations for the operation of National Electricity Market (NEM), including the regulation of access to electricity networks. It is supported by the National Electricity (South Australia) Regulations. The NEL is applied as law in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australia Capital Territory by application statutes. The Northern Territory has also applied the NEL with variations that cater to local requirements.(NEL)
- The National Gas Law
The National Gas Law (NGL) and the National Gas Rules (NGR) set out the regulation of access to natural gas pipeline services provided by transmission and distribution pipelines under the national energy market framework.(NGL), and
- The National Energy Retail Law
The National Energy Retail Law (NERL), a Schedule to the National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011, regulates the supply and sale of energy to retail customers. The Law is supported by the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) and National Energy Retail Regulations.(NERL).
Individuals, business and stakeholder groups can shape the design and regulation of the market by submitting rule change requests. Any party, except the AEMC, can propose a change to the rules. This is different to a trial rule change through the Energy Innovation Toolkit as changes made through the AEMC's rule change requests process become law for all participants in the National Energy Market, not just the applicants.
Once a request for a rule change is submitted, it is put out for public consultation. Engagement with stakeholders is conducted through a number of mediums such as seeking written submissions and participation in meetings, workshops and forums. The AEMC then publishes a draft rule determination and seeks submissions on the draft determination, which stakeholders (including the proponent, if they wish) can comment on, and then the AEMC publishes a final rule determination. Because of this process, all parties who might be impacted by changes in the above laws and rules can be involved in and comment on proposed changes.
This is why monitoring the AEMC website for upcoming changes or subscribing to their updates to receive notification about proposed rule changes is important.
National energy guidelines
The AER and the Australian Energy Market Operator
Victorian energy laws
Victoria has its own energy retail laws, and is not subject to the National Energy Retail Law (NERL) or National Energy Retail Rules (NERR). The ESC, under the Electricity Industry Act 2000 and Gas Industry Act 2001, is required to promote the development of full retail competition and promote customer protections. Under these Acts, regulated electricity and gas businesses operating in Victoria must be licensed by the ESC.
Changes to these Acts are made through the Victorian Parliament. The ESC publishes information relating to changes to these Acts on their website and through its newsletters.
Jurisdictional energy frameworks
In addition to Victorian specific legislation, other state and territory regulators are responsible for changes to the frameworks they manage. By identifying which jurisdictional requirements are relevant to your project, you can know which agencies you will need to contact to receive updates. You can read more about jurisdictional energy bodies here.
How often are changes made?
Fairly often. In the years since the National Electricity Rules
This demonstrates the importance of keeping informed about upcoming changes. While many changes may have limited or no impact on your business or innovation, it is important to stay informed to ensure you catch any that will.
How can I stay informed?
The best way to stay informed about changes to energy legislation targeted by the Energy Innovation Toolkit's regulatory relief is by:
- Subscribing to the AEMC for updates on their rule change projects here.
- Subscribing to the ESC for updates on changes to their legislation here.
- Subscribing to the AER for updates on changes to guidelines or exemptions here.
It's important to understand which jurisdictional requirements could impact your project, so you can receive updates on these requirements through the channels of relevant state and territory regulators.
- Our Regulation Navigator is an interactive tool which can help identify which state licensing requirements could potentially apply to your business model.
- Our Australian energy markets explainer page provides an overview of the players and regulatory bodies who administer Australian energy markets across different states and territories.
- Our Innovation Enquiry Service provides informal feedback to help you understand what energy regulations might apply to your innovative idea, and can explain which state and territory regulators you will need to contact, and why.
- We occasionally release regulatory explainers focused on significant changes - visit our knowledge sharing page for updates.
The scope of the Energy Innovation Toolkit only covers energy market regulation. You'll need to stay informed about changes to other kinds of regulation that affect your project - for example, financial, safety, and environmental regulation. The IES can refer you to external resources on other kinds of regulation (for example, safety, financial and environmental regulation) that might apply to your project. You can access detailed disclaimers explaining what the Energy Innovation Toolkit does and doesn't provide within our Energy Innovation Toolkit Portal.