The Pilbara Networks Access Code requires covered network service providers that also generate or retail electricity (vertically integrated suppliers) to submit ringfencing rules to the ERA for approval. Currently there are two covered networks - the Alinta Energy Port Hedland network and the Horizon Power coastal network.
The purpose of the ringfencing rules is to ensure that vertical integration does not lead to a reduction in competition in generation and retail markets. The ringfencing requirements are set out in Chapter 8 of the Code. The rules must ensure that:
- Commercially sensitive information that is received by the network business is not used outside of the network business or for a purpose other than the purpose for which the information was acquired or developed.
- Charges paid by users of the network include only network costs.
- The network business does not discriminate against competitors or in favour of its own, or associates, generation or retail businesses.
The requirements allow for flexibility, recognising that the structure and nature of network service providers businesses differ substantially.
On 23 August, the ERA published proposed ringfencing rules received from Alinta Energy and Horizon Power for stakeholder feedback.
The ERA received two stakeholder submissions in response to the proposed ringfencing rules.