Who makes the decisions?

The Australian Energy Market Operator

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is responsible for forecasting and operating the National Electricity Market to ensure that the supply of electricity is available to meet demand at any given time.

AEMO is owned by government (60%) and industry (40%).

The Australian Energy Market Commission

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is responsible for making and amending the rules and frameworks governing how the National Electricity Market operates, as well as reviewing the system and providing advice to governments.

The Australian Energy Regulator

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is responsible for setting maximum prices able to be charged by network owners, enforcing compliance with rules and laws for the National Electricity Market.

The Council of Australian Governments Energy Council

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council comprises the energy and resources ministers of all federal, state and territory governments of Australia as well as New Zealand. The COAG Energy Council is responsible for policy related to electricity markets.

The Energy Security Board

As recommended in the Finkel Review, the Energy Security Board was established in 2017 by the COAG Energy Council to provide oversight of the whole electricity system and coordinate the implementation of the Finkel Review. It is comprised of a chair, a deputy chair and the heads of the three energy market bodies: the AEMO, the AEMC and the AER.

Who controls the electricity system?

The electricity system in Australia is largely privatised (with some exceptions in Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia).

Government regulation, which varies across the states, controls some aspects, but much of the industry is regulated by the AEMC, AER and AEMO.  Coordinated regulation of (and any policy changes affecting) the electricity market depends on cooperation between federal and state governments.