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Powering Progress: The Strategic Shift to Outsourcing Embedded Networks Amidst Regulatory Changes

Strata Companies in Western Australia are facing a shifting landscape in the management of embedded networks, with new regulations and compliance requirements looming on the horizon. The recent introduction of the Alternative Electricity Services (AES) framework by the WA State Government is set to impact how electricity is supplied and managed within embedded networks, potentially placing additional obligations on Strata Companies acting as embedded network sellers.


Under the current regulatory framework, on-sellers of electricity in embedded networks have enjoyed exemptions from holding retail licenses. However, with the AES framework approaching, Strata Companies operating embedded networks may soon find themselves burdened with new compliance requirements. The introduction of the Voluntary Embedded Networks Code of Practice by Energy Policy WA is a clear indication of the direction in which regulations are heading.


The Voluntary Code aims to set standards for Embedded Network Sellers, outlining their responsibilities and obligations. While participation in the Voluntary Code is currently optional, it provides valuable insights and lessons that will shape the mandatory AES Code expected to follow. Strata Companies operating embedded networks are encouraged to register for the Voluntary Code to prepare for the forthcoming regulatory changes and provide feedback to Energy Policy WA.


The Voluntary Code covers a range of important aspects, including general obligations, information provision, metering, billing procedures, tariffs and pricing, financial hardship assistance, family violence support, disconnection and reconnection procedures, dispute resolution, life support equipment management, carbon offset requests, and customer rights regarding Distributed Energy Resources (DER) assets. These provisions ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in the management of embedded networks, safeguarding the interests of consumers and stakeholders alike.


However, with the increasing complexity and potential risks associated with managing embedded networks, Strata Companies must consider whether the benefits outweigh the challenges. The question arises: Is running an embedded network truly profitable for Strata Companies, especially considering the eroding margins in the energy market?


Outsourcing the operation of embedded networks to specialists such as Bright Connect could offer a viable solution. By entrusting the management of embedded networks to experienced professionals, Strata Companies can mitigate risks and ensure compliance with evolving regulations. With Bright Connect assuming the obligations and risks associated with embedded network operation, Strata Companies can focus on their core business activities without the burden of regulatory compliance.


Additionally, the introduction of electric vehicle (EV) charging within embedded networks presents further challenges for Strata Companies. Managing EV charging infrastructure and associated billing processes can be complex and time-consuming. Bright Connect not only offers expertise in managing embedded networks but also provides guidance and support in implementing EV charging solutions, alleviating the burden on Strata Companies who might struggle with these tasks.


The impending regulatory changes mean that non-compliance could come at a significant cost for Strata Companies. If embedded networks are included within the AES framework, failing to register for the mandatory AES Code once live would result in a fine of $100,000, underscoring the importance of proactive compliance measures.


The introduction of the Voluntary Embedded Networks Code of Practice and the impending AES framework underscore the importance of proactive measures for Strata Companies operating embedded networks. While compliance with the Voluntary Code and future AES regulations presents challenges, outsourcing to experienced providers like Bright Connect offers a strategic solution.


Contact us today to learn more about how Bright Connect can help streamline your embedded network management and ensure compliance with upcoming regulations.


This article was brought to you by Bright Connect


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