The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has been consulting on reforms to make it easier for businesses to develop and trial innovative energy technologies and business models.
In July 2019, the Commission published a Draft Report recommending the introduction of a regulatory sandbox toolkit to facilitate proof-of-concept trials.
A regulatory sandbox is a framework within which participants can trial innovative concepts in the market under relaxed regulatory requirements at a smaller scale, on a time-limited basis and with appropriate safeguards in place.
The AEMC has proposed three new tools to facilitate proof-of-concept trials:
- an innovation inquiry service, to provide guidance and feedback and help businesses get trials up and running quickly where they are feasible under current laws and regulation
- a new regulatory waiver power for the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) so they can temporarily exempt trials from existing rules where this is creating a barrier
- a new AEMC trial rule change process that can quickly and temporarily change existing rules or temporarily introduce a new rule of limited application to allow a trial to go ahead.
AGL is generally supportive of the AEMC’s recommendations with respect to establishing an innovation inquiry service, regulatory waiver power and trial rule change process.
AGL made a submission in response to the Commission’s Draft Report, a copy of which is available here.