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Electricity licensing exemptions categories

There are three different types of electricity licence exemptions:

  1. registration exemption
  2. deemed exemption
  3. individual exemption

Registration exemptions – you will soon need to register with us

There are now certain activities that are eligible for exemption, but will soon need to be registered with us for the exemption to take effect.
Registration exemptions include:

    • network (supply) activities
    • retail (selling) activities
    • solar power purchase agreements and community energy projects may also be covered under a ‘multiple activity exemption’ category.

You must register if you supply metered or unmetered electricity or sell metered electricity to:

    • ten or more residential or small commercial/retail customers within the limits of a site you own, occupy, or operate
    • caravan or holiday parks, residential land lease parks, manufactured home estates
    • retirement villages
    • large customers (limited to a specific site).

From 1 April 2018 your exemption will only apply if you are registered with the commission. Even then, if circumstances change, or if you do not meet the exemption conditions, your exemption will stop.

If you continue undertaking the activity, you are operating without a licence and may be subject to a penalty. It’s important that you understand your compliance obligations as part of the exemption.

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Registration exemption activities are divided into the following categories:

Retail registration exemption categories (selling)

VR1 Persons selling metered electricity to 10 or more small commercial/retail customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate.
VR2 Persons selling metered electricity to 10 or more residential customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate, excluding sales to residents of retirement villages, caravan parks, holiday parks, residential land lease parks, and manufactured home estates.
VR3 Retirement villages selling metered electricity to residential customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate.
VR4 Persons selling metered electricity in all caravan parks, holiday parks, residential land lease parks, and manufactured home estates.
VR5 Persons selling metered electricity to large customers.

Network registration exemption categories (supplying)

VNR1 Persons supplying metered or unmetered electricity to 10 or more small commercial/retail customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate.
VNR2 Persons supplying metered or unmetered electricity to 10 or more residential customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate excluding supply to residents of retirement villages, caravan parks, holiday parks, residential land lease parks and manufactured home estates.
VNR3 Retirement villages supplying metered or unmetered electricity to residential customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate.
VNR4 Persons supplying metered or unmetered electricity in caravan parks, holiday parks, residential land lease parks, and manufactured home estates.
VNR5 Persons supplying metered electricity to large customers.

Multiple registration exemption categories (solar power purchase agreements and community energy projects)

  1. generating or distributing electricity on:
    1. premises not owned or occupied by the person; or
    2. a portion of premises occupied by the person for the purpose of the generation and distribution, where the premises are not owned by the person and the remainder of the premises is not occupied by the person; and
  2. supplying or selling electricity:
    1. to the owner or occupier of the premises on which the generation occurs (the customer); or
    2. to a licensed retailer.

    Deemed exemption – you do not need to register with us

    A deemed exemption applies if you undertake activities fitting within the deemed exemption categories. This class also covers some small scale generators.

    If your activities fall within a deemed exemption category you do not need to register with us.

    However, there are still conditions that you must meet for the exemption to apply. If circumstances change, or the exemption conditions are not met, your exemption will stop. If you continue undertaking the activity, you are operating without a licence and may be subject to a penalty. It’s important that you understand your compliance obligations as part of the exemption.

    The deemed exemption activities are divided into the following exemption categories:

    Deemed retail exemption categories (selling)

    VD1 Persons selling metered electricity to fewer than 10 small commercial/retail customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate.
    VD2 Persons selling metered electricity to fewer than 10 residential customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate, excluding retirement villages, caravan parks, holiday parks, residential land lease parks, and manufactured home estates.
    VD3 Persons selling metered electricity to occupants of holiday accommodation on a short-term basis (excluding caravan parks, holiday parks, residential land lease parks, and manufactured home estates).
    VD4 Persons temporarily selling electricity on construction sites, where the sale is an incidental supply to facilitate bona fide construction and commissioning of new facilities on the same or an adjoining site.
    VD5 Persons selling electricity to a related company.
    VD6 Persons selling electricity on or within the person’s premises to customers in conjunction with, or ancillary to, the provision of telecommunications services. Includes internet, telephone, mobile phone, fibre optic, hybrid fibre cable, television, radio, Wi-Fi, or other communications technology.
    VD7 Government agencies selling metered electricity to non-residential customers for purposes that are ancillary to their primary functions or objectives under the laws under which they are established.

    Deemed network exemption categories (supplying)

    VND1 Persons selling metered electricity to fewer than 10 small commercial/retail customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate.
    VND2 Persons selling metered electricity to fewer than 10 residential customers within the limits of a site that they own, occupy, or operate, excluding retirement villages, caravan parks, holiday parks, residential land lease parks, and manufactured home estates.
    VND3 Persons selling metered electricity to occupants of holiday accommodation on a short-term basis (excluding caravan parks, holiday parks, residential land lease parks, and manufactured home estates).
    VND4 Persons temporarily selling electricity on construction sites, where the sale is an incidental supply to facilitate bona fide construction and commissioning of new facilities on the same or an adjoining site.
    VND5 Persons selling electricity to a related company.
    VND6 Persons selling electricity on or within the person’s premises to customers in conjunction with, or ancillary to, the provision of telecommunications services. Includes internet, telephone, mobile phone, fibre optic, hybrid fibre cable, television, radio, Wi-Fi, or other communications technology.
    VND7 Government agencies selling metered electricity to non-residential customers for purposes that are ancillary to their primary functions or objectives under the laws under which they are established.

    Deemed generation exemption category

    VGD1 Persons generating electricity for supply or sale where the total output by that person (whether or not with another person), using a generator or generators connected to the transmission network or distribution network at a common point, is less than 30MW.

    Individual exemption – you will need to apply to the department and will not register with us

    If the activity you will be doing is not described by any of these categories, but you are of the opinion that a licence is not appropriate, you may apply for an individual exemption. Individual exemptions are issued case-by-case. Individual exemption applications can be made to the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning.

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