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Regulatory changes

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 Commission (AEMC), the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and the Australian Energy Regulator (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 (NEL)
  • The National Gas Law (NGL), and 
  • The National Energy Retail Law (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 (AEMO) (among other organisations) have various roles under the National Energy Retail Law and National Energy Retail Rules including developing a range of guidelines. These guidelines are amended from time to time in accordance with these organisations' consultation procedures. 

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 (NER), National Gas Rules (NGR) and National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) were implemented these instruments have been each been amended between 3 and 10 times per year.

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. 

Other regulation

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.