A temporary shortage of Embedded Network Managers – AER's transitional response

Author Alister Alford

Date November 2017

To address a temporary shortage of accredited Embedded Network Managers ready to facilitate retailer of choice functions from 1 December 2017 the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has responded with transitional compliance arrangements.

From 1 December 2017 embedded network operators may be required to become or appoint an Embedded Network Manager in regions where embedded network customers are afforded the right to a choice of retailer. To allow time for enough Embedded Network Managers to be accredited by Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) the AER will “focus on education and not actively pursue enforcement of compliance issues” during a transition period ending 31 March 2018.


What is the role of an Embedded Network Manager?

The Embedded Network Manager is a new accredited service provider that has been created to facilitate customers in embedded networks moving between off-market and on-market retailers. Embedded Network Managers will be responsible for integrating details of embedded network customer metering and retail contract arrangements into the National Electricity Market settlement systems.

What does the delay mean for access to competitive retail offers?

This delay in facilitating access to retailer of choice for some embedded network customers follows a delay in the passage of legislation in the Queensland parliament to provide the benefits of retailer of choice to embedded network customers Queensland. Energetics expects amending legislation to be reintroduced following the upcoming Queensland State Government election.

Compliance with transitional arrangements

While the AER may not actively pursue enforcement of compliance it is important for those embedded network operators who are required to appoint an Embedded Network Manager to be actively engaged in the process. It is advisable that embedded network operators clearly communicate delays in providing access to market retail offers to customers within their embedded networks. To address AER queries it is important to retain evidence of customer advice and steps taken in the process of securing an Embedded Network Manager.