Embedded Electricity Networks: Power of Choice Qld Compliance Update

November 13, 2018

Embedded Electricity Networks in QLD (Bodies Corporate with Bulk Electricity Purchase and Sale Agreements) now have legislation in place as of 28 September 2018, allowing embedded network electricity customers the “Power of Choice” when it comes to choosing their electricity supply.

As a quick recap, we previously separated the facts from fiction for embedded electricity networks and associated compliance requirements in an article that can be read here.
So what does this new QLD legislation mean for Bodies Corporate with embedded electricity networks, 12 months on from the Australian Energy Regulators notice of changes to the National Energy Rules (NER) for Embedded Networks?

If you are an ARC Utilities client, you have received confirmation of your Body Corporate compliance with the NER to appoint an Embedded Network Manager (ENM), following ARC Utilities ENM accreditation earlier this year.

Compliance with the NER ENM requirements and duties entails a number of steps, however; step 1 for Bodies Corporate is to firstly become an ENM, or appoint an accredited ENM. Due to stringent accreditation requirement, it is highly impractical for a Body Corporate to become an ENM and therefore it is usual for your Embedded Network Billing Agent who undertakes the ENM role, provided they have achieved accreditation. A list of accredited ENM’s registered with Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) found here.

f you have step 1 completed, initial compliance is achieved provided the ENM appointment has been reported to the AEMO. You should seek confirmation from your Billing Agent that this has occurred if you haven’t already been advised. The ENM can now register meters within your building on the national electricity market upon request of a customer enabling any retailer the ability to supply that customer with electricity direct, if they choose to (Power of Choice).

With QLD legislation now in place, customers in embedded electricity networks such as Bodies Corporate can seek supply of electricity from any retailer. We may now see additional marketing from retailers seeking new business in this highly competitive market. However, to date we at ARC Utilities have not experienced any embedded network customers seeking to exercise power of choice by engaging an external retailer, nor have we seen any retailer offers that represent less overall cost for electricity supply, at least within our own clients embedded networks.

To mitigate the possibility of customers within your building looking elsewhere for better electricity rates, we suggest you monitor and periodically review your electricity supply rates. This review of supply rates charged to your customers is required to ensure the Body Corporate is only seeking recovery of the bulk supply cost to comply with the governing legislation.
This customer supply rate review step is particularly important after renewal of bulk purchase agreement terms to not only reduce supply costs if your purchase rates go down, but to also

increase rates if the supply cost goes up making sure the Body Corporate is not out of pocket for the difference. If external retailer supply is accepted by your customers, it may diminish the bulk purchase value achieved as a group of customers and potentially increase overall administration costs for on market meter registrations which cannot be recovered from the customer existing the embedded network.

At ARC Utilities, we keep the process simple by completing all these steps required on your behalf to maintain a compliant, efficient and cost effective embedded network while keeping you in the loop with regular and meaningful reporting. For further assistance or advice on embedded networks, please get in touch and we will be happy to provide a professional assessment and recommendations.

This article was contributed by Adam Ford – General Manager, ARC Utilities.