Distributed energy resourcesProject N/A
This report focuses on the access arrangements for retail customers as defined in the National Electricity Retail Law (NERL) and the National Electricity Rules (NER) chapter 5A.
1. Executive summary
CEPA has been engaged by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to support the Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP) in regard to access and pricing reforms for electricity consumers connected to distribution networks. The DEIP Access and Pricing (A&P) Package has a steering group that includes the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the AEMC, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Energy Consumers Australia (ECA), and the Total Environment Centre (TEC).
The DEIP A&P Package is being undertaken due to the changing nature of the electricity system. The electricity system is moving towards a more dynamic and decentralised two-way flow system.
The AEMC, on behalf of the DEIP working group, has asked us to undertake the following:
- Identify barriers in the current regulatory and legislative framework that may limit and/ or slow the integration of distributed energy resources (DER) into the electricity system.
- Identify access and pricing options that could improve the integration of DER into the electricity system, specifically options that would provide increased or more certain access for DER owners with the ability to generate and export electricity. This includes:
- Obligations, standards, and incentives that could be applied to distribution network services providers (DNSPs) to achieve outcomes in consumers’ long-term interest.
- Identifying changes that would be required to the current regulatory and legislative framework to implement these options.
In this report we focus on the access arrangements for retail customers as defined in the National Electricity Retail Law (NERL) and the National Electricity Rules (NER) chapter 5A. This excludes customers that are registered National Electricity Market (NEM) participants, but it also excludes unregistered micro-generators who do not have a retail contract.
While the DER definition covers a broad range of devices, our work primarily focuses on the access arrangements for exports by retail customers. Note, throughout this report we have used the terms exporters and prosumers (producer/ consumer) interchangeably.