The AER is undertaking a review of the retailer authorisation and exemption frameworks set out in the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) to assess whether the current energy consumer protection framework remains fit for purpose in a transitioning energy market. The review forms part of the Energy Security Board's (ESB) consumer energy resources (CER) implementation plan to effectively integrate CER into the National Electricity Market. The AER is working closely with the ESB, Australian Energy Market Commission, and the Australian Energy Market Operator and is engaging extensively with industry and consumer groups.
The AER initiated the 'Review of consumer protections for future energy services', formerly known as the 'Retailer authorisation and exemption review' in April 2022, publishing an issues paper for public consultation. This feedback, along with input at various workshops, has supported the AER to progress the risk analysis of new products and services which is a key component of the review, and to develop reform options.
This paper outlines three reform options. The AER's preliminary position is that the current regulatory framework will not be fit for purpose for the future energy market given the potential risks posed by new energy products and services and that many of these are unlikely to be captured by the current framework.