Notable changes to relevant legislation and regulation affecting the Company are set out below.
Retail Price Controls
In 2018/2019 important changes were introduced regarding the sale and advertising of electricity. For jurisdictions to which the National Energy Retail Law applies, the Competition and Consumer (Industry Code – Electricity Retail) Regulations 2019 empowered the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to determine maximum standing offer prices that must be offered to small electricity customers, and imposed new advertising requirements for retailers. In Victoria, the Energy Legislation Amendment (Victorian Default Offer) Act 2019 and associated regulations introduced a requirement for electricity retailers to offer a Victorian Default Offer which does not exceed the relevant reference price and imposed new advertising requirements for retailers.
Wholesale Electricity Market
A significant number of changes to the National Electricity Rules have been completed or are pending. These include changes relating to AEMO’s Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader’ (RERT) function, the Retailer Reliability Obligation, demand management, MT PASA and transmission access reform.
Snowy Water Licence
In December 2018 the NSW Department of Industry released its final report of its ten-year review of the Snowy Water licence. That report recommended a number of administrative licence amendments to increase transparency, secure current practice and fix known errors. Those changes have not yet been implemented but are scheduled for 2019. The report also proposed further investigations in relation to water release and environmental water delivery, to be followed by a second round of licence amendments in 2021.