ACCC role in energy

We're currently inquiring into the supply and pricing of electricity in the National Electricity Market. We also have an ongoing role in retail electricity in enforcing the Competition and Consumer (Industry Code – Electricity Retail) Regulations 2019.

Electricity market monitoring

In 2018, the Treasurer directed us to hold a public inquiry to monitor prices, profits and margins in relation to the supply of electricity in the National Electricity Market. The inquiry will run for seven years, ending in 2025. We are required to report at least once every six months.

The ACCC has been directed to monitor:

  • electricity prices faced by customers in the NEM
  • wholesale market prices
  • profits being made by generators and retailers
  • contract market liquidity, and
  • the effects of policy changes, including those resulting from our recommendations in the Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry.

In addition, where appropriate, we will make recommendations to government(s) to take any proportional and targeted action considered necessary to remedy failure by any market participants (or the market as a whole) to deliver competitive and efficient electricity prices.

Competition and consumer protection

The ACCC’s role in energy markets is in the context of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. For example, we enforce the competition and consumer protection provisions in energy markets and assesses energy mergers and authorisations.

We have a specific role under the Competition and Consumer (Industry Code—Electricity Retail) Regulations 2019 (the Electricity retail code). We monitor and enforce compliance with the Electricity retail code for retailer price setting and marketing activities.

See also: Legislation

Historical functions

Prior to our current electricity inquiry, the ACCC conducted the Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry (REPI) throughout 2017 and 2018. In the final REPI report, we set out a package of 56 recommendations to bring down electricity prices and restore consumer confidence and Australia’s competitive advantage.

The ACCC does not regulate monopoly energy infrastructure any more, as those functions are now undertaken by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

Details of decisions made by the ACCC in electricity and gas markets prior to the introduction of the AER and information on the National Electricity Market Access Code are available from our public registers.

See: Access to services register and Authorisations register

Australian Energy Regulator

The Australian Energy Regulator is Australia’s national energy market regulator. It has an independent board and shares staff, resources and facilities with the ACCC.

More information

Australian Energy Regulator

Energy Made Easy

Electricity retail code

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