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NETCC Council Meeting - October 2022

Published on - 6 Oct 2022

This is a summary of the NETCC Council meeting held on 6 October 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.

NETCC program technical scope

The Senior Technical Services and Standards Advisor at the CEC presented to Council the proposed technical scope for the first 12-24 months of the NETCC program.
The definition of ‘New Energy Tech’ in Part C of the Code is broad and may pose challenges to the effective administration of the program in its early stages. The CEC has reviewed the definitions of New Energy Tech and Distributed Energy Resources (DER) used by key energy bodies in Australia and found that definitions of these terms vary. When launching the NETCC program, ensuring clarity for key stakeholders around what the program does and does not cover is critical. To better define this scope, the CEC proposed granting class exemptions to some energy technologies and services to exclude them from the program’s jurisdiction, at least for an initial period.

Proposed class exemptions include DER that does not generate or store electrical energy, fossil fuel embedded generators that are connected to the grid, low-cost off the shelf items that do not require a licensed tradesperson to install, and products that are only partially within the scope of the NETCC, e.g., solar air-conditioners. It was noted that all class exemptions are granted for a set time and re-assessed at the end of their exemption period. This allows for a staged broadening of the program’s scope as the NETCC program matures.

The CEC noted that the inclusion of diesel generators within the program scope may be inconsistent with the CEC’s broader policy positions on renewable energy. Council acknowledged that this may be the case, however, it was agreed that the NETCC program’s aims were broader than those of the Administrator.
Council discussed that the breadth of the NETCC program’s scope is intentional. The technical guidance documents referenced in the NETCC are intended to provide more specific technical advice for the more established technologies.

The importance of distinguishing New Energy Tech products from New Energy Tech services was discussed. For example, there may be instances where a particular product is not considered within the scope of the NETCC program, but the services provided in relation to a that product may be. Demand response enabled devices may be considered as falling within this category.

Council agreed that electric vehicles are not within the scope of the NETCC, however, EV charging systems are covered.

Council’s feedback on the NETCC program’s technical scope will be provided to the CEC.

Governance and administration

Council further discussed the governance arrangements with the CEC as Code Administrator and Steward. Council noted that annual Council reviews and independent three yearly reviews required by the Code will provide further opportunities for governance arrangements to be clarified and confirmed.

Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel

Council noted that expressions of interest (EOI) for the Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel closed on 10 October 2022. The Chair will review the applications submitted and shortlist candidates, with the assistance of Council members.

Program development update

Several law firms have been approached by the CEC in relation to the Finance Delegate role. It is anticipated that the Delegate may also assist within developing a sale and installation agreement template for Approved Sellers to use with consumers.

The NETCC pilot program is due to launch on 1 November 2022. At this time, new energy tech providers will be able to apply to the Administrator to become an Approved Seller. No Approved Seller application outcomes will be delivered before 1 February 2023, however, a state government program has agreed to accept businesses who have submitted an Approved Seller application into their scheme on a provisional basis.

Stakeholder briefings continue to take place, including with the Australian Energy Regulator, the Energy Charter, Tasmanian Government, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Ombudsmen. Engagement with the program continues to be positive and productive.

The CRM platform in which Approved Seller applications and cases with be processed has been completed. The Approved Seller portal is expected to be delivered within the next few weeks. This portal will be used to transition Approved Solar Retailers to become Approved Sellers.

All-Energy Conference

The CEC will be promoting the NETCC program at the All-Energy Conference on 26-27 October 2022. The program will be promoted both at the CEC booth and at information sessions on each of the conference days. Council members were invited to attend and assist with delivering the information sessions. The sessions will provide an overview of the background of the NETCC, its aims, what it requires of signatories and how the transition from the Approved Solar Retailer program will take place.

Next meeting: 17 November 2022
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The NETCC Council