The QCA enforces the Electricity Distribution Network Code, the Gas Distribution Network Code, and some Queensland-specific derogations to the National Energy Retail Law (NERL) and National Energy Retail Rules (NERR). The NERL and NERR are part of the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) – more information about the NECF is available on the Australian Energy Market Commission’s website.
We expect energy businesses to monitor their compliance with applicable codes and the derogations that apply in Queensland. If a business contravenes an obligation we expect to be informed within two business days of the business becoming aware of the breach. The QCA’s enforcement guidelines set out the information we expect businesses to provide to us when they breach, or suspect they have breached, an obligation.
We can take a range of actions in the event of a breach by an energy business of one of these instruments. The processes we follow, and the actions we can take, are outlined in our enforcement guidelines.
For breaches of Queensland-specific derogations to the NERL and NERR, the QCA has the same powers as the Australian Energy Regulator has for monitoring the NERL and NERR. In regard to the Electricity and Gas Distribution Network Codes, the QCA may issue warning or contravention notices, pursue a civil penalty or seek an injunction in response to a breach.
The guidelines also outline matters the QCA may consider in making a decision about taking enforcement action.