The National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) was introduced to Queensland in July 2015. Prior to this, the sale of electricity was regulated under the Queensland Electricity Act (1994) and there were limited restrictions placed on those that sold electricity using an embedded network, such as bodies corporate. Under the NECF, there are greater protections for consumers including changes to the required billing information, an increase in time required prior to restriction of supply and greater access to government sponsored assistance programs.
For developers, the biggest changes will be in the selection of suppliers and service contractors appointed. Developers often appoint energy suppliers at the first EGM and some may be unwittingly burdening the new body corporate with non compliant service providers. There is also now a requirement to register exemptions with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for both the retail exemption (if the body corporate is operating as the retailer) and for the network. In some cases where the network equipment was supplied by a third party under a ‘no cost to developer’ arrangement, the body corporate is often identified as the owner of the equipment and the network operator is granted exclusive use of the network. In these instances the body corporate still needs to register the network with the AER.
If you have any concerns about your network, hardware or the proposed service providers, contact us today for advice. Waiting until you have disclosed contracts could be too late.