Embedded networks are private electricity networks serving multiple premises that connect to the grid via a single connection point. Common examples include shopping centres, retirement villages, caravan parks and apartment blocks.
Operators of embedded networks are exempt from the National Energy Retail Rules (and the national network regulations) and need to comply with different regulations specifically for exempt sellers and networks. This creates a two-tier system where energy businesses operating in embedded networks have fewer obligations and less monitoring, and customers in embedded networks have less choice and fewer consumer protections than energy businesses and consumers in the mainstream market.
The Alternative Technology Association’s (ATA) submission to the Review of Regulatory Arrangements for Embedded Networks recommends removing the exemption and creating a new category in the retail rules to bring exempt sellers into the same regulatory environment – though with some different requirements as necessary to reflect the differences between embedded networks and the wider market.
Failing that, the exemptions framework would need to be revised to ensure customer of embedded networks have equivalent consumer protections to those in the mainstream market.
Click here to read the ATA’s submission on Regulatory Arrangements for Embedded Networks.