In April 2012, the Property Council, ClimateWorks and Seed Advisory submitted a proposal to the Australian Energy Market Commission to change the National Electricity Rules (NER).
For a faster, easier and less expensive grid connection process, changes to the NER are required to:
1. Provide an automatic right of connection to the grid and standard access terms. This would apply to generators that meet ‘Automatic Access Standards.’
2. Enable embedded generators a right to export electricity to the grid.
3. Provide an improved connection process for embedded generators that are ineligible for automatic access and a right of export.
4. Allow electricity network companies to charge an optional fee-for-service. This is to promote collaboration with their customers.
5. Oblige electricity network companies to publish annual network reports identifying where capacity is limited.
The above improvements will replace electricity customers’ case-by-case negotiations with a standard process that is clearer, more certain and efficient. These changes will also encourage greener energy without compromising the integrity of the national electricity grid.
Most importantly, the proposal will deliver economic and societal benefits including:
· cheaper connection costs;
· lower payback periods on green energy investments;
· enhanced energy efficiency;
· a boost to productivity;
· adaptation to a low carbon economy;
· reduced demand on the electricity network, especially peak demand; and
· the potential to lower escalating electricity prices.
In short, it will save businesses and households time and money. Accordingly, this proposal shows how reducing ‘barriers’ enables society to become greener in a low cost way.
For more information on this submission, and the Property Council’s energy reform agenda, contact Policy Manager, Mendo Kundevski, on 03 9650 8300.