The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is consulting on the development of Export Tariff Guidelines, to support distribution networks in the development of two-way pricing options.

The AER’s consultation follows the Australian Energy Market Commissions final determination on access, pricing and incentive arrangements for distributed energy resources, that was made on 12 August 2021. The determination changes the energy rules with the aim of getting more small-scale solar into the grid, while supporting growth of batteries and electric vehicles. This included removing the prohibition on export tariffs, allowing networks to potentially propose to the AER that they be permitted to introduce two way pricing to match two way energy flows on electricity networks.

AGL supports the AER’s development of the Export tariff guidelines as a crucial regulatory safeguard, and is supportive of the proposed content.

To ensure that distribution networks develop pricing options that best facilitate customers’ ability to realise value from their DER investments, we would recommend the Export tariff guidelines clarify that:
• Load and export tariffs should be developed holistically to ensure two-way pricing options produce the most efficient outcomes for customers.
• Two-way pricing options should be cost-reflective and not create any barriers to innovative competitive based solutions (such as solar or battery orchestration) to the provision of network services.
• As retailers have the customer facing relationship and will need to inform and educate consumers of export pricing, distribution networks should engage with retailers in the development of two-way pricing options prior to lodging them for AER review and approval. This will best support innovation and simplicity of retail product and service offerings and facilitate consumer engagement.

We elaborate our views in our formal submission, available here.