With various fees and charges appearing on an electricity bill, it can be hard to know what each of them means. You may have recently seen a charge appear on your business electricity bill called ‘RERT’. 

Let us break down what this charge is and how it impacts your business energy.

What is RERT?

Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) is a mechanism developed to be used in cases where the available electricity supply is not able to meet demand. 

To help maintain power system reliability and system security using reserve contracts, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) puts out a call for additional electricity capacity to be made available to the grid. This additional capacity comes from sources that are not otherwise available to the market. 

In June 2022, AEMO activated the RERT in New South Wales and Queensland as there was not enough power to meet the electricity demands of residents and businesses. 

Activation of RERT is an intervention event in accordance with the National Electricity Rules and undertakes such activations to maintain power system reliability and system security. Whether forecast reliability and security is outside a relevant National Electricity Market (NEM) standard is continuously assessed by AEMO to determine if procurement of reserve is necessary. The trigger for the activation of reserve also depends on the lead time required to activate the reserve and the nature of the reserve shortfall. 

More information regarding RERT can be found on the AEMO website here.

Electricity reserve

There are a few different types of electricity reserve that can be procured for RERT purposes. 

Unsecured load that can be curtailed and restored on request from AEMO. This can be a large industrial load or a group of smaller aggregated loads. The other type of reserve involves unscheduled generation assets, such as standby diesels.

Reserves provided under a reserve contract must not be available to the NEM through any other contract or arrangement in the trading intervals which the reserve is required in order to be eligible. 

Criteria that AEMO will use to assess the reserve includes the availability of the reserve over the summer period, whether the reserve can be activated as a block of no less than 10MW, and whether the reserve can be activated continuously for at least 30 minutes. 

RERT costs on your electricity bill

RERT costs are passed through to impacted NSW and Queensland customers and will appear on your electricity bill as a RERT charge. 

Contact the Customer Experience team at Next Business Energy if you have questions about the RERT charge.