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NETCC Council Meeting - March 2022

Published on - 1 Apr 2022

This is a summary of the NETCC Council meeting held on 10 March 2022. Communiques of each meeting are produced so that stakeholders can be informed about the work of the Council and its implementation of the Code.

Code Pricing Assumptions

The CEC is drafting a cost recovery model for the Administrator and Steward roles.

There are some difficulties in forecasting the uptake of the NETCC program among providers of various new energy tech services. Council agreed that in the first few years of the NETCC program, the majority of Approved Sellers will have previously been Approved Solar Retailers (ASRs).
Therefore, Council suggested that the CEC should base its modelling on existing ASR program data, and factor in a small increase in income from Approved Sellers involved in other new energy tech services.

Council agreed that without government policy changes and incentive schemes, it is unlikely that there will be significant interest in the NETCC from businesses who are not involved in solar PV in the first few years of the program.

Virtual power plants (VPPs) and battery storage are likely to be popular technologies for new government programs, and EV charging services are likely to have a stronger uptake among consumers in the latter half of the decade.

Appointment of a finance expert

Council discussed the role of the independent finance expert, as defined by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of 2019 and the NETCC Annexure. It was highlighted that a number of operational requirements necessitate the early appointment of an appropriate candidate.

Council discussed the frequency with which the independent finance expert would be required to review unregulated deferred payment contracts once they have been approved. Council suggested that there is likely to be a relatively small number of providers of unregulated deferred payment contracts that will seek to participate in the program, and that they should only be subject to further review if changes are made to their terms or internal procedures.

It was suggested that the finance expert could provide support to the Code Administrator by creating a guide for retailers that offer deferred payment arrangements for compliance with the Code’s requirements.

Appointment of Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel

The CEC is seeking to draft terms of reference for the NETCC Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel. Council agreed on the importance of building upon the experience of the Approved Solar Retailer (ASR) program’s Code Review Panel.

The current Chair of the ASR Code Review Panel shared his view that the current panel operates effectively, is efficient with its time, and has heard very few appeals in recent years.

Council agreed that the Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel should consist of representatives with industry, consumer protection and legal experience. As defined by the MOU and NETCC Annexure, the Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel will provide the majority of the operational
oversight to the program.

Council agreed that it would not be appropriate for an individual to sit on both Council and the Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel. Council expressed preference for the Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel to have an independent Chair and fixed appointment terms for all members.

Digital Development

The CEC provided an update on developments to the NETCC website and invited Council to provide feedback on the initial design direction.

Council expressed the need for the website homepage to have strong messaging surrounding what the NETCC program is, what it seeks to achieve, and what it can offer businesses. Council discussed the differences in the primary audience for the website before and after the NETCC program
launches. The website content will need to be easily adaptable to deliver relevant messaging to different stakeholders across this period.

Code Launch Date

The launch date for the Code will be 1 February 2023.

Consumer Information Products

Council was advised that the Consumer Information Products (CIPs) being created by Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) and Renew are nearing completion. The CIPs will be launched on a
standalone website in the coming months.

The CIPs have been designed to be adapted to different contexts. Council agreed that the CIPs should be displayed on the NETCC’s website, however, would first need to be tailored to reference
the NETCC and its standards.

Next Meeting: 21 April 2022

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The NETCC Council