This guideline aims to help people undertaking exempt sale and supply activities register with us and understand the information we collect as part of the licensing exemptions registration process.
Registration Guideline for Exempt Persons
In 2017, the Victorian Government introduced new rules for exempt persons that requires them to register with us for an electricity licensing exemption. Many exempt sellers and suppliers that do not have an electricity licence, and supply or sell electricity to other people, must register with us.
You may need to register with us if you:
- buy electricity from a licensed retailer and then sell it to other people
- supply electricity between the electricity meter and individual customers.
Under the new rules, solar power purchase agreement providers and some community energy projects also need to register with us.
The General Exemption Order
In Victoria, the Electricity Industry Act 2000 requires that persons undertaking a regulated activity, such as the sale or supply of electricity, need a licence unless there is an exemption that applies. The General Exemption Order (GEO) sets out the activities which are eligible for an exemption, and the conditions which must be complied with.
Key changes in the General Exemption Order 2022
In October 2018, the Victorian Government announced an election commitment to restrict embedded networks in new residential apartment buildings, with limited exemptions.
The GEO 2022 implements phase one of the reforms, restricting the sale of energy in relation to the new embedded networks (where there are 10 or more residential customers) unless the exempt person can meet specific conditions, including a new renewable energy condition.
Persons who are undertaking sale in relation to an embedded network pursuant to an exemption under the GEO 2017 will not, however, need to comply with the renewable energy condition, as this only applies to new embedded networks as of 1 January 2023.
The GEO 2022 requires that electricity sold or supplied by an exempt person, including new embedded networks which have to meet the new renewable energy condition, must not exceed the Victorian Default Offer which is the relevant maximum price formulated by the Essential Services Commission.
The GEO 2022 also exempts persons that sell or supply electricity for the purposes of charging an electric vehicle from having to obtain a licence.
The General Exemption Order 2022 (GEO 2022) commenced on 1 January 2023.
Transitional provisions under the GEO 2022 give certainty to existing exemption holders that their exemptions under the GEO 2017 will continue to apply. However, from 1 January 2023, anyone relying on an exemption under the GEO 2022 will be responsible for ensuring they register with the commission (if applicable) and comply with any applicable conditions.
Additional information about the changes are included in this Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning fact sheet.
New renewable energy condition
The new renewable energy condition requires that 100 per cent of electricity sold by an exempt person at a new embedded network site, with 10 or more residential customers, must come from renewable energy sources.
The condition requires that at least five per cent of the electricity sold to residential customers must be generated using onsite renewable energy facilities and that the balance is covered by offsite renewable energy.
An exempt person at a new embedded network must keep records of the following for at least seven years and provide a summary of this information to the commission annually:
- the amount of electricity supplied to that new embedded network from a licensed distribution company’s distribution system;
- the amount of electricity supplied to that new embedded network that is generated by means of that new embedded network’s onsite renewable energy facilities;
- the amount of electricity the exempt person sells to residential customers in that new embedded network including the amount of that electricity that is generated by means of that new embedded network’s onsite renewable energy facilities;
- any qualifying LGCs voluntarily surrendered by the exempt person;
- any voluntary surrender arrangement; and
- any GreenPower arrangement.
Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
The sale or supply of electricity from EV charging stations now have their own deemed exemption categories in the GEO 2022.
Each year on or before 1 February, such deemed exempt persons must provide information to the commission, in the form required by the commission, with details of:
- the number of customers to whom they have sold electricity and
- the number of electric vehicles that have been charged with that electricity.
If you have general questions about the Embedded Networks Review and subsequent reforms included in the GEO 2022, please contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions regarding the registration database, consumer protections or pricing relating to exempt persons, please contact the Essential Services Commission at email@example.com or 1300 664 969.
If you have questions regarding the Australian Energy Regulator’s network exemptions framework, please contact the Australian Energy Regulator at AERinquiry@aer.gov.au or 1300 585 165.
Current version of the guideline
This guideline outlines the information we ask exempt persons to provide when registering with the commission and reflects the new requirements of the General Exemption Order 2022. It also provides detail on who is and is not required to register, why exempt persons are required to register, and how to register.
This guideline comes into force on 1 January 2023.