The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is Australia’s national energy market regulator. It has an independent board and shares staff, resources and facilities with the ACCC.
The AER sets the prices charged for energy networks (electricity poles/wires and gas pipelines) to transport energy to customers. The AER also monitors retail and wholesale energy markets and enforce the laws regulating those markets.
The AER’s energy network regulation and wholesale market functions cover all states and territories except Western Australia and Northern Territory (however, the AER does regulate gas transmission in the Northern Territory). The AER’s retail energy market functions cover South Australia, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.
The AER’s responsibilities include:
- price setting for energy network charges
- compliance monitoring of retail and wholesale energy markets
- enforcement action for breaches of energy laws and rules
- publishing information on energy markets
- assisting the ACCC with energy-related decisions.
The ACCC’s role in energy markets is in the context of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. For example, the ACCC enforces the competition and consumer protection provisions in energy markets and assesses energy mergers and authorisations.
The ACCC does not regulate monopoly energy infrastructure any more, as those functions are now undertaken by the 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.