Market Structure

Over the past decade, the Energy Council (and its predecessors) has created three agencies to separate the major functions of policy, rules and regulation, and compliance and market operations. These independent decision-makers have clear accountabilities and objectives. They are all guided by the overarching legal requirement to operate in the long-term interests of consumers.

Australian Energy Market Commission

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) makes the National Electricity Rules, National Gas Rules and the National Energy Retail Rules that govern the National Electricity Market, elements of natural gas markets and energy retail markets. It conducts independent reviews and advises the Energy Council.

Australian Energy Regulator

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is the national energy market regulator. Among other things, it:

  • sets the revenues that regulated network businesses can recover as well as the maximum prices they can charge
  • publishes reports on network business performance in providing energy services to Australians, and
  • monitors markets and enforces compliance with rules and legislation.

The AER also regulates energy retail markets in some jurisdictions, where it can:

  • authorise retailers to sell energy
  • approve retailers' policies for dealing with customers in hardship
  • administer a national retailer of last resort scheme, and
  • manage the national energy price comparison - Energy Made Easy.

Australian Energy Market Operator

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is responsible for the day-to-day management of wholesale and retail energy market operations, including:

  • the National Electricity Market
  • the Victorian Declared Wholesale Gas Market
  • the Short Term Trading Market, and
  • retail markets that facilitate retail competition, allowing customers to purchase energy from a supplier of their choice.

AEMO also coordinated the strategic development of the national electricity grid. In gas, it delivers strategic planning advice and forecasting to guide long-term investment and resources management.

State-based regulators

Depending on their legislation and energy market arrangements, states and territories have their own regulators to deal with matters specific to their communities. The following authorities have a regulatory role in their state or territory. Links to the websites for each jurisdiction are provided below.

Australian Capital Territory
Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission
New South Wales
Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal
Northern Territory
Utilities Commission
Queensland Competition Authority
South Australia
Essential Services Commission of South Australia
Tasmanian Economic Regulator
Essential Services Commission
Western Australia
Economic Regulation Authority