New retailer billing guidelines proposed by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) aim to enable innovation in the sector, as well as make bills easier for customers to understand.
Following consultation in recent months, the AER Better Bills Guideline will be published by 1 April and will be mandatory for all retailers. Changes will start to appear on consumer bills from August and will be monitored for compliance by the AER.
The AER recognises that there are many current and potential engagement points between customers, retailers and the market, and as the market transitions to include new energy technologies, what that engagement looks like will no doubt transform.
Flux’s configurable billing software is built in a future-proof way so a retailer can easily pivot to meet changes to billing requirements - whether it’s led by customers or regulation.
Australia’s energy sector will face large changes in coming years as older coal-fired plants are phased out and consumers continue their uptake of distributed energy technology.
Origin Energy has announced it will bring forward the closure of its 2880 MW Eraring coal plant from 2032 to 2025. AGL has also indicated it will accelerate the closure of its Bayswater generator from 2035 to no later than 2033, and its brown coal-fired Loy Yang A plant from 2048 to no later than 2045.
Energy storage at a residential level is growing in popularity, with 23,796 Australian homes installing a battery in 2020 alone.
The ongoing uptake in distributed generation creates the opportunity for retailers to develop offerings to promote microgrids, virtual power plants, dynamic tariffs, demand-side management and peer-to-peer trading.
These new technologies do mean the traditional linear way that retailers have operated will be disrupted, but customers will still want bills with the correct information of their energy use and charges, no matter how they access the energy they need.
SMOOTHING THE TRANSITION
The new billing guideline aims to simplify energy bills so households and small businesses can more easily manage their energy usage and costs, and find the best energy deal.
Initial feedback from retailers on the AER’s move to mandate billing requirements was that they are facing a number of concurrent market developments, including five-minute settlement and the introduction of the consumer data right for energy.
The speed and agility offered by Flux products enables retailers to be more reactive in the market when regulatory changes come up or a new product is needed.
Our FlexiBill product allows new tariffs or other important information to be quickly and easily introduced while maintaining the ability to rapidly and accurately generate bills.
The AER aims to reduce cost to serve with the introduction of its billing guidelines. FlexiBill allows our clients to optimise their operational processes through automation and workflow efficiencies, meaning cost to serve remains low or is even reduced.
Get in touch to see how Flux can help you meet new regulatory requirements and offer your customers billing that creates freedom for them to invest in new energy technology.