As of 1 December 2017, all embedded networks registered to activity classes ND10, NR1, NR2, NR3, NR5 and NR6 and which already have customers purchasing electricity from an electricity retailer outside the embedded network (“on-market”), or have 30 or more customers, must appoint an ENM by 31 March 2018.
The purpose of the ENM is to facilitate the transition of customers from the supply of electricity within the embedded network to purchasing their electricity on-market from an electricity retailer. This means greater accessibility to the retail electricity market for those customers in embedded networks.
The requirement to appoint an ENM applies to the following activity classes:
Government agencies, other than housing authorities, supplying metered or unmetered energy to non-residential customers. Includes all public and educational institutions.
Persons selling metered energy to ten or more small commercial/retail customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy or operate.
Persons supplying metered or unmetered energy to ten or more residential customers within the limits of the site they own, occupy or operate.
Retirement villages supplying metered or unmetered energy to residential customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy or operate.
Persons selling metered energy to large customers.
Persons supplying metered or unmetered energy to small customers at a site or premises adjacent to a site that they own, occupy or operate.
A “large customer” is a business customer (not a residential customer) who consumes energy at a business premises at or above the upper consumption threshold of 100 MWh per annum.
A “small customer” is a customer who is a residential customer, or, who is a business customer who consumes energy at a business premises below the upper consumption threshold of 100 MWh per annum.
What does this mean for my exempt embedded network?
An ENM is a service provider accredited by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
The ENM will provide a National Metering Identifier (NMI) to customers who elect to purchase electricity from the wholesale market system. From 1 December 2017, only ENMs will be able to register NMIs, meaning that ‘off market’ customers (customers who are supplied electricity from within the embedded network) will only be able to access the wholesale retail market if an ENM has been appointed. Accordingly, if your embedded network meets the above criteria, you must appoint an ENM.
The requirement to appoint an ENM is just one of many changes within the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) “Power of Choice” reforms. AEMC also recently made changes to metering.
Changes to Metering
In addition to the requirements for an ENM, as of 1 December 2017, all new or replacement meters for consumers and businesses must be advanced digital meters (smart meters).
Smart meters will have enhanced technological attributes including, remote connection and disconnection capabilities, remote data reading capabilities and greater access to electricity consumption information. Consumers will now have better opportunity to understand and take control of their electricity consumption and the associated costs.
Metering services will continue as usual until either both the consumer and retailer decide to upgrade to an advanced meter or the meter needs to be replaced. If your retailer proposes to replace your electricity meter earlier than required, they must provide you with the option to elect not to update to a smart meter.
Our team at Cowell Clarke has vast experience in electricity regulation. If you would like more information about the Power of Choice reforms and how they might affect you, please contact Kathryn Walker or someone from our team.