Market Review: Open

Overview

In August 2021, Energy Ministers tasked the AEMC with a review of the National Gas Rules (NGR) and National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) to develop initial rules that will extend the regulatory frameworks to include low-level hydrogen blends and renewable gases. 
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Review into extending the regulatory frameworks to hydrogen and renewable gases 

Overview

In August 2021, Energy Ministers tasked the AEMC with a review of the National Gas Rules (NGR) and National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) to develop initial rules that will extend the regulatory frameworks to include low-level hydrogen blends and renewable gases. 

Purpose and approach of the review

The purpose of the AEMC's review is to:

  1. Identify potential issues in the NGR and NERR that could emerge if natural gas equivalents are permitted to be supplied through natural gas distribution pipelines.
  2. Develop draft initial rules to address these issues through a consultative process.
  3. Inform jurisdictional officials of any National Gas Law (NGL) and National Energy Retail Law (NERL) changes that the AEMC considers should be made to achieve the objective of the Energy Ministers. 

The AEMC has also been asked to prioritise the changes that need to be made, and whether any amendments could be deferred. This prioritisation advice will assist the Energy Ministers in meeting the expedited time frame that has been set for these reforms.

The AEMC is also concurrently undertaking a rule change process focused on including distribution connected facilities in the Victorian declared wholesale gas market (DWGM). More information on the rule change can be found on the project page at: https://www.aemc.gov.au/rule-changes/dwgm-distribution-connected-facilities.

Consultation process

On 21 October the AEMC published a consultation paper that sets out a range of issues that may arise due to the proposed changes to the NGL and NERL. These issues include:

  • economic regulation of pipelines — issues on the operation of economic regulation, ring-fencing arrangements and the rights of natural gas equivalents and constituent gases suppliers to connect to pipelines
  • market transparency mechanisms — the application of the reporting obligations for the Bulletin Board, Gas Statement of Opportunities and Victorian Gas Planning Report
  • facilitated gas markets (the Victorian declared wholesale gas market and the short term trading market) — potential changes to registration categories, managing settlement and allocation and trading natural gas equivalents and constituent gases through the facilitated markets
  • regulated retail markets — potential changes to registration categories, impacts on settlement, metering and billing
  • consumer protections — managing issues the sale and supply of a natural gas equivalents that may arise between retailers, distributors and customers such as pricing, notification requirements and billing data
  • regulatory sandbox framework — how this new framework can be used for trial projects using natural gas equivalents.

The Commission is seeking stakeholder input these issues and whether there are additional issues that should be considered in this review. 

A public forum is being held on 22 October 2021, please email renewablegas@industry.gov.au if you would like to register.

Submissions are due by 2 December 2021.
 

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