News

5

Energy Action receives accreditation as Embedded Network Manager

Energy Action accredited as Embedded Network Manager

Energy Action is one of the first in Australia to receive accreditation under the National Electricity Rules to operate as an Embedded Network Manager, completing the service suite that Energy Action provides to embedded networks.

The Embedded Network Manager is a new position recently created by the Australian Energy Regulator and requiring accreditation by AEMO. From 1st December 2017 most embedded networks with 30 or more customers must appoint an Embedded Network Manager. All embedded networks with one or more customers that are already taking supply from an authorised retailer must also appoint an Embedded Network Manager irrespective of the number of customers attached to the embedded network.

The responsibility of the ENM is to manage the market interface for customers connected to embedded networks that wish to take supply from an authorised retailer whilst remaining electrically connected to the embedded network. This requires AEMO’s systems to be updated so that the new retailer can bill and settle with the market for the electricity supplied to the customer. The Embedded Network Manager is also tasked with providing any customer wishing to take supply from an authorised retailer with the prices that they will be charged for network services as well as providing the incoming authorised retailer with certain information about metering that is required for the transfer to take place.

The establishment of this position comes on the back of some long held complaints from embedded network customers.  Many find it much too difficult to either get a quote from an authorised retailer for the electricity only component of their bill, they don’t know how much they will still have to pay to the embedded network owner for network services once they have signed away. They also can’t easily get transferred to a new retailer so they don’t know from when their new contract will start.

With the creation of the Embedded Network Manager role all of these problems should be resolved much more quickly than in the past and the transfer of embedded network customers to authorised retailers should be achievable quickly. 

This is a key milestone in our growth strategy as it will allow us to facilitate the transfer of a customer from off-market to on-market (and back again if required). It is a condition of exemption under the National Energy Rules that network exemption holders either become an ENM or appoint one in certain situations.

In order to get embedded network owners on the front foot the regulator is requiring most of them to appoint an Embedded Network Manager in advance of any of any customer requesting to take supply from an authorised retailer. This is so that they will be prepared when any such request is received.

The Regulator has already required all but the smallest embedded networks to register, so they is aware of who is operating embedded networks and will have a reasonable estimate of their size. Failure to register an embedded network with the Regulator can result in the owner being fined, and fines of up to $100,000 have already been issued. Failure to appoint an Embedded Network Manager may result in similar action from the Regulator, and whilst they have stated that they will not actively pursue failures of appointment for several months after the 1st December deadline, this is at the Regulator’s discretion and cannot be taken for granted.

The requirements on embedded network owners are increasingly complex and the creation of the Embedded Network Manager attests to this continuing trend. If you are the owner of an embedded network and are unsure of what your responsibilities are under the various regulations governing these businesses you should contact us and our regulatory specialists will be happy to assist you.

Services provided to embedded network owners by Energy Action now cover the full spectrum of embedded network operation including:

  • Financial evaluation of embedded networks including retrofits of embedded networks,
  • Solar and energy efficiency commercial and technical evaluations,
  • Project management for solar, energy efficiency and retrofit applications,
  • Tenant management including meter reading, pricing, billing and move in/out services,
  • Regulatory compliance,
  • Embedded Network Manger services.

Energy Action is proud to be able to offer its customers this service and we look forward to working further as an Embedded Network Manager (ENM) with our clients in the future.