Relevant Legislation - Retail Energy
Development of the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) was overseen by the Council of Australian Governments through the Ministerial Council on Energy (who now meet as part of the COAG Energy Council), with the purpose of supporting the delivery of a national and efficient energy market as set out in the Australian Energy Market Agreement (AEMA).
Legally, the customer framework consists of a package of reforms: these are the National Energy Retail Law, which implements the framework, together with the National Energy Retail Regulations 2012, the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR), and various amendments to regulations and rules under the separate wholesale electricity and natural gas regimes.
The AEMC is the rule-making body for the NERR as it is for the the National Electricity Rules (NER) and National Gas Rules (NGR).
Application Acts in each participating jurisdiction set out the specific jurisdictional arrangements of each jurisdiction for transitioning to the NECF, and any jurisdiction-specific requirements.
The key source of the AEMC’s statutory powers in relation to retail energy services is the National Energy Retail Law (NERL). It is contained in a Schedule to the National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011.
The National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011
Each participating jurisdiction adopts the national law by enacting its own application statute. These application statutes set out the extent to which the customer framework is applied in each jurisdiction and, where necessary, enable the coexistence of any jurisdiction-specific instruments that complement the national law. The AEMC has prepared a guide to how the National Energy Customer Framework applies in each jurisdiction that has adopted it.
Guide to application of the NECF
The National Energy Customer Framework has commenced in the following jurisdictions:
The Australian Capital Territory (commenced 1 July 2012)
Tasmania (commenced 1 July 2012)
The Commonwealth (commenced 1 July 2012)
South Australia (commenced 1 February 2013)
New South Wales (commenced 1 July 2013)
Queensland (commenced 1 July 2015)
The National Energy Customer Framework does not currently apply in Victoria, Western Australia or the Northern Territory.
Regulations generally deal with administrative matters that follow from the statute law. For instance, the National Energy Retail Regulations establish such administrative matters as the relevant energy consumption thresholds for customer classifications, and also the content requirements for rule change proposals.
National Energy Retail Rules
The National Energy Retail Rules are primarily focused on the sale and supply of energy to residential and small customers, and also set out the consumer protection measures and basic terms and conditions (contained in model contracts) that govern the relationships between customers, retailers and distributors.
Click here to view the latest version of the National Energy Retail Rules and all historical versions.