Department of Energy and Water Supply

On-selling electricity

On-selling electricity refers to an arrangement where the owner, occupier or user of a premises supplies and sells electricity to premise occupants.

Examples of on-sellers (also referred to as ‘embedded network owners’) include:

  • shopping centre owners
  • caravan park owners
  • owners of manufactured home parks
  • owners of blocks of flats
  • bodies corporate associated with blocks of residential or commercial units.

Regulation and licensing of on-sellers

The National Energy Retail Law and Rules commenced in Queensland on 1 July 2015. The rules set out the exemptions for anyone on-selling energy to tenants under the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF).

All on-sellers of electricity must apply to the AER for an exemption from the requirement to hold a retailer authorisation, unless in a deemed class. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) exempt selling (retail) guideline details the types of exemptions available and the application procedures.

On-sellers who own, operate or control a privately owned network must also obtain an exemption from the requirement to register as a network service operator with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The AER monitors and enforces compliance with obligations under the retail law, rules and regulations. Visit the Australian Energy Regulator website for more information or to lodge a complaint.

Customer access to retail market offers

Changes to the national electricity rules for embedded networks, which commence on 1 December 2017, will make it easier for embedded network customers to access retail market offers in order to buy energy direct from an authorised energy retailer rather than their on-seller.

The changes will create a new accredited provider role - embedded network manager - to link customers to the National Electricity Market without the need to establish a direct connection to the electricity network. Existing customers will be able to continue to purchase electricity from their on-seller if they wish.

The AEMC has also recently commenced a review of the regulatory arrangements for embedded networks to identify and assess issues for customers and identify solutions. The review will consider the exemptions framework, customer protections and barriers to embedded network customers accessing competitive retail offers.

Consumer protection

Under the national rules, on-sellers must abide by the conditions set by the AER under their exemption class when selling electricity or gas to tenants. In particular, the legislation limits the amount an on-seller can charge for electricity and requires all on-sellers to claim for government concessions on behalf of eligible recipients.

Dispute resolution 

On-supply customers who are unable to resolve disputes with their on-seller can get more information by visiting our dispute resolution page.  

Public consultation on a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), entitled On-supply customer access to energy rebates and the Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (PDF, 443.2KB), has now closed. Further updates will be provided once the department has considered the options.

Last updated:
4 April 2017
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