How do I register as a Relevant Agent?
Parties considering to become a Relevant Agent should first refer to the Technical Regulator Guideline – Relevant Agent Roles and Responsibilities (PDF, 276.0 KB)which defines the expected functions of a relevant agent. Interested parties who wish to become a Relevant Agent are required to complete the registration form (DOCX, 300.5 KB) and submit both of these documents to the Technical Regulator by emailing email@example.com
The Office of the Technical Regulator will assess and consider the registration form and other supporting documentation/information that is provided by the party, before contacting the applicants to organise a formal assessment, or to request further information.
How are relevant agents assessed?
The roles and requirements of relevant agents are outlined in the Technical Regulator Guideline – Relevant Agent Roles and Responsibilities (PDF, 276.0 KB). The Office of the Technical Regulator will assess all parties seeking to become a Relevant Agent in accordance with the internal Relevant Agent Registration Assessment document prior to the party being registered as a Relevant Agent. This process will cover, among other topics, the proposed technology solution, resourcing for the operation of Relevant Agent services, the existence of written agreement and pricing information for prospective customers and security considerations.
A demonstration of the technology that the interested party has listed will also be requested as part of the assessment process. This is to provide assurance of the capabilities of the party and their proposed technology prior to making a recommendation to the Technical Regulator on whether the party should be approved to operate as a Relevant Agent in South Australia.
Who can issue a direction to disconnect/reconnect remotely and under what circumstances?
The Relevant Agent must be prepared to activate the disconnect functionality/capability at all times during daylight hours, seven days a week.
The Relevant Agent must therefore nominate activation contacts who are responsible for activating the disconnect and reconnect functionality of the electricity generating plant under its control. Direction of the disconnect or reconnect capability will be given to the Relevant Agent through the activation contacts. The person who receives the activation call through the activation contact number must be capable of activating the relevant disconnect or reconnect of the electricity generation plant under the Relevant Agents control within 15 minutes of receipt.
Where a Relevant Agent has been directed to disconnect electricity generating plant, it must not reconnect that plant before the time of reconnection notified by the directing party. As soon as practicable after activating the disconnect or reconnect, the Relevant Agent must notify the directing party of the completion of the activation.
With regard to who may issue the direction, a person may lawfully direct the Relevant Agent where:
- the person has a statutory power to do so
- the person has been directed to direct the Relevant Agent by a person with a statutory power
- the person has the written authorisation of the owner or operator of the electricity generating plant (for example, a virtual power plant operator has a contract with the owner or operator of the electricity generating plant).
The South Australian Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Act 2004 has powers of direction in an electricity supply emergency and the Australian Energy Market Operator has powers to direct Registered Participants under the National Electricity Rules.
SA Power Networks has the right to disconnect an electricity generating plant connected to its distribution network in accordance with its connection agreements.
For further information please refer to the Technical Regulator Guideline – Relevant Agent Roles and Responsibilities (PDF, 276.0 KB).
How will it be ensured that customers do not inadvertently have multiple agents (for example, if a customer appoints an agent on installation and then subsequently signs up for a VPP)?
Customers may only have one Relevant Agent per electricity generation plant. The Office of the Technical Regulator maintains a register of electricity generating plants and their Relevant Agents which is reviewed for compliance.
What does a relevant agent need to do if ownership of the electricity generating plant changes (for example, if the house is sold)?
The owner or operator of an electricity generating plant must notify their Relevant Agent as soon as practicable within 7 days of the change (for example, if they sell their house). The Relevant Agent will then be required to notify the Technical Regulator, so that the Technical Regulator can update and continue to maintain the register of Relevant Agents.
The Relevant Agent must also notify the new owner or operator of the electricity generating plant in writing of their existing role as the Relevant Agent for the plant and seek the new owner or operator’s authorisation for continuation of the arrangement. We consider this an important requirement to ensure the new owner or operator is aware of the need to appoint a Relevant Agent.
The new owner or operator of the electricity generating plant may authorise the existing Relevant Agent to continue or may authorise another Relevant Agent.
If the existing Relevant Agent is unable to secure continued authorisation to act as the Relevant Agent for the electricity generating plant, the Relevant Agent is required to notify the Technical Regulator.
Who can customers, installers and businesses contact for enquiries regarding these changes at the Department for Energy and Mining?
- The Department for Energy and Mining will produce materials to assist installers in communicating the new requirements on the Regulatory Changes for Smarter Homes website.
- The Office of the Technical Regulator can respond to queries on 08 8226 2108 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm) or via firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Energy Advisory Service also provides guidance to consumers on a range of energy related matters on 1800 671 907 (free call from fixed lines) or at email@example.com
Who do I contact if I have an issue or complaint?
Any issues or complaints can be directed to the Office of the Technical Regulator in the first instance on 08 8226 2108 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens if a company acting as an agent becomes insolvent?
In such circumstances, the Technical Regulator will engage with the liquidator/administrator/receiver. From a customer perspective, the Office of the Technical Regulator will work with impacted customers
Written authorisation standard words
The following standard words provide a guide for obtaining the Relevant Agent written authorisation from the owner or operator of a new prescribed electricity generating plant. These words are intended to supplement whatever commercial and contractual arrangements (if any) apply for the use of the Relevant Agents service.
For the purposes of Regulation 55B of the Electricity (General) Regulations 2012, as the owner/operator of the solar generation plant, I:
- acknowledge that the plant must be capable of being remotely disconnected from, and reconnected to, the relevant distribution network by a Relevant Agent.
- acknowledge I am responsible for appointing a Relevant Agent who may remotely disconnect and reconnect the solar generation plant from the distribution network.
- authorise [AGENT NAME] (authorised Relevant Agent) to remotely disconnect and reconnect the solar generation plant from the distribution network using the [TECHNOLOGY] capability in circumstances where I am lawfully directed to disconnect or reconnect the plant.
- acknowledge that, if I cease to be the owner/operator of the solar generation plant, I must advise the authorised Relevant Agent as soon as practicable and in any case no later than 7 days after I cease to be the owner/operator of the solar generation plant.
- acknowledge that I may withdraw this authorisation by providing written notice to the authorised Relevant Agent, in which case I will be responsible for authorising another Relevant Agent.
For further information regarding the regulatory changes for smarter homes please contact the Office of the Technical Regulator:
- Phone: 08 8226 2108 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
- Email: email@example.com