The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) works to make all Australian energy consumers better off, now and in the future.
We regulate electricity networks and covered gas pipelines, in all jurisdictions except Western Australia. We set the amount of revenue that network businesses can recover from customers for using these networks.
We enforce the laws for the National Electricity Market and spot gas markets in southern and eastern Australia. We monitor and report on the conduct of market participants and the effectiveness of competition.
We protect the interests of household and small business consumers by enforcing the Retail Law. Our retail energy market functions cover New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Queensland. The AER sets standing offer prices small business and residential customers pay in areas where there is no other retail price regulation – South Australia, New South Wales and south-east Queensland (Energex).
Our strategic objectives recognise that energy is an essential service for Australian households and businesses and a critical contributor to the long-term success of the Australian economy:
- Drive effective competition where it is feasible
- Provide effective regulation where competition is not feasible
- Equip consumers to participate effectively, including operating the Energy Made Easy website, and protect those who are unable to safeguard their own interests
- Use our expertise to inform debate about Australia’s energy future, the long-term interests of consumers and the regulatory landscape
- Take a long-term perspective while also considering the impact on consumers today.
We work with the COAG Energy Council, the Energy Security Board and our partners – the other market bodies, state-based regulators, Energy Consumers Australia and energy ombudsmen schemes – on emerging issues and regulatory strategies. We are committed to engaging with consumers and their representatives, industry participants and peak bodies, and other stakeholders.
Additionally, we assist the ACCC with energy-related issues arising under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, including enforcement and mergers.
Governance and decision-making
The AER operates under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
The AER Board is an independent entity, comprising five members who are statutory appointments:
- Clare Savage is the full-time Chair, having been appointed to this post for a five-year term, starting on 14 October 2019.
- Board Members are Jim Cox, Eric Groom PSM, Catriona Lowe and Justin Oliver.
The Chair must preside at all AER Board meetings and a quorum requires both the chair and the member appointed by the Commonwealth. Questions arising at a meeting must be determined by unanimous vote of the members present and voting.
The AER may make decisions in relation to its functions under the National Electricity Law, National Gas Law and National Energy Retail Law. It can seek an order from the Federal Court that a person is in breach of a relevant energy law.
Decisions of the AER are subject to judicial review by the Federal Court.
Our Strategic Statement sets out our purpose and strategic objectives. Every year the COAG Energy Council publishes a Statement of Expectations, to which the AER Statement of Intent is our response. This includes our work program and benchmarks to measure our performance. Additionally we publish annual reports and undertake regular stakeholder surveys. These publications can be found on the corporate documents page.
The office of the AER, led by our chief executive Dr Liz Develin, is responsible for providing timely, quality advice to the Board to support its decision-making responsibilities. In consultation with the Board, the office is responsible to the ACCC for governance and efficient management of resources.