ELECTRICITY – Rebates and Embedded Networks

 This article has been prepared in response to queries from an ARQRV member.   Our sub-committee member John Scouller  sought to clarify the following comment on “Embedded Newtorks” –

  “if the scheme operator went over to an EN”  …. it will not be a case of whether the scheme operator ‘goes over’. The village is either an EN or not. An EN is where each villa is wired to a central point and the outside as against separate wiring for each resident as in suburbia.”

John Scouller and Hilton Conrad have researched and produced the following information.

Queensland Pensioners Electricity Rebate & Embedded Networks

From inquiries I have made there does not appear to be any truth in the rumour that there is about to be a reduction in the Qld Seniors and Pensioners Electricity Rebate. This also applies in the context of an Embedded Network.

However, on the positive side, from 1 April 2017 Commonwealth Health Care Card holders and asylum seekers will be able to apply for the electricity rebate.  Payments will be made back to 1 January 2017 for eligible applicants.

Although the notion of an Embedded Network Manager (ENM) was to allow Embedded network customers to access competition and obtain cheaper power, an early problem has been that some village operators appointed Network Managers (NMs) who charged for their services in reading meters and billing residents.  This cost was then passed on to the residents.  However, I understand that according to the latest evolution of the complex rules for NMs, from 1 December 2017 the village operator must pay for these costs charged by Network Managers.

You may also wish to know that:

From 1 March 2017 the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) will be the sole body which approves the registration of an ENM.

It will be mandatory from 1 December 2017 for all retirement villages with an EN supplying electricity to more than 30 customers to have an ENM.  The manager will be selected, appointed and paid for by the owner of the EN ie Stockland, Retire Australia etc.

Effective 1 March 2017 the AEMO issued extensive guidelines for accreditation of Embedded Network Managers. See their website at;  https://www.aemo.com.au/

As of now no ENMs has been approved in Australia. When several have been formerly approved competition will become possible and operators of villagers will be required to seek competitive tenders.


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