The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has released a draft handbook outlining its proposed approach to network revenue determinations, and is now calling on network businesses and consumer groups to comment. 

The draft, titled Better Resets Handbook, discusses revenue determinations, which are often referred to as ‘resets.’

Resets involve an extensive regulatory process where the AER confirms how much a network distribution or transmission business can recover from its customers over a five-year period.

The draft Better Resets Handbook proposes changes in the way the process is undertaken, placing greater emphasis on high-quality consumer engagement and offering more clarity on what the AER considers would be in a proposal that is capable of acceptance.

Discussions with stakeholders have informed the draft, and the AER is now seeking comments before releasing the final version.

With the overarching aim of creating a more efficient process that is better for consumers now and in the long-term, the Better Resets Handbook outlines AER expectations in the key areas of tariffs, forecast expenditure, and depreciation.

It also outlines what genuine consumer engagement looks like in a reset process and establishes a new targeted review stream that would allow network businesses to receive earlier guidance from the AER on their proposal.

The targeted review stream is a key innovation, as it creates the opportunity for the AER to provide networks with early guidance at the Issues Paper stage. 

This will enable network businesses to focus on improvements that would make their consumer-centric proposal more likely to be accepted at the draft decision stage.

An online forum on the Better Resets Handbook will be held on 6 October 2021. 

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