We’ve all heard stories of energy companies being fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to comply with regulations. And repeatedly, the things that let the side down are failures within processes, particularly if there are manual steps along the way.
Despite the severity of the penalties and the fact that regulatory-driven changes are a normal part of the energy sector compliance landscape, non-compliance still happens because executing the internal changes required to comply can result in significant challenges for energy retailers if operational software is difficult to configure.
Often, regulatory changes have a large data component requiring energy retailers to access, extract, analyse, and share data. While this sounds like it should be straightforward, those using legacy operational software can often run into difficulties with any one of these tasks, resulting in expensive and lengthy bespoke development projects with software vendors to fulfil regulatory obligations.
This should not be the case. Regulatory change is a given, as is change of any kind. The software underpinning energy retail operations should be more than capable of configuration to flex around compliance and other changes as they arise.
Case study: Australian energy regulation
Let’s look at Australia for example, which has a number of regulatory changes hitting energy companies.
The Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing is ending payment of the Service to Property Charge and Controlled Loan concessions from 1 December 2023. Energy retailers will need to ensure these concessions have the correct end date and that their billing software is configured accordingly. You’d expect that this should be a quick and easy settings change, right?
There’s also the Consumer Data Right (CDR), which enables consumers to choose what happens to data relating to their usage that’s collected on their behalf. As custodians of consumer data operating under CDR, energy businesses must respect the wishes of their customers, and be prepared to share (you can read more about this in our blog). So, surfacing and sharing data is something energy retailers will need to do easily and without delay. Again, this should be straightforward within their billing platforms?
And, how about the Better Bills Guideline, which means energy retailers must provide bills to customers that are easy to read and understand so they have the information they need at a glance to make informed decisions about their energy consumption. This means, energy retailers must be able to break down the components of an energy bill, isolate certain charges, and present these in an easily digestible format. Which means, their billing software will need to be adjusted to accommodate this. No problem?
On a more technical level, the AEMO R43 Schema Release and the AEMO B2B Procedures V3.8 require various changes to be made to support reporting, standardised communications, presentation of certain information, and procedural changes. Shouldn’t be a problem to set up?
How Flux supports energy regulation changes
The reality is that many energy retailers are still using outdated legacy technology that was developed years ago for a market that was vastly different to today’s energy environment. As the pace of change accelerates regulations need to change too, which means change is just a part of operating an energy business. And changes to billing software shouldn’t require elongated and costly development processes.
Flux was built for configurability, scalability, and integration. It is flexible and in most instances, can easily be adjusted to support regulatory change. For example:
Concessions can be managed within Flux in line with state and market regulations based on your directives,
Flux will integrate with many CDR technology providers to enable energy retailers meet CDR obligations,
Flux provides the data and tools for energy retailers to construct bills that are compliant with the Better Bills Guideline,
Flux’s market gateway is maintained in accordance with AEMO schema requirements
To find out more about how Flux can support ongoing changes within your energy business, whether driven by regulatory change or introducing new products and tariffs with ease, speak to our team today to schedule a demo of our leading energy billing software.