The AER has an independent Board made up of one Commonwealth member and two state/territory members. The Governor-General appoints the members for terms of up to five years. One member is appointed as chair.
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Clare Savage was appointed Chair of the Australian Energy Regulator in September 2019.
Over the last 17 years Clare has acquired significant leadership experience in the Australian energy industry. She has a passion for the energy sector and a commitment to its development, particularly through this current transition.
Clare has worked extensively on a range of issues including governance; climate change and renewables policy; electricity and gas market design and operation; network regulation and pricing; and retail market regulation.
Prior to joining the AER, Clare was Deputy Chair of the Energy Security Board. Together with the Chair of the ESB, Clare has worked to bring a greater level of coordination to the activities of the three energy market institutions and overseen the delivery of many of the recommendations of the Finkel Review. Clare was responsible for the development of the Retailer Reliability Obligation which confers considerable new responsibilities on the AER.
Prior to joining the ESB, Clare was the Executive Director, Policy, Energy & Climate Change at the Business Council of Australia and worked with Australia’s largest businesses, including electricity and gas producers and consumers, to develop a suite of integrated energy and climate change policies.
From 2012 to 2015 Clare held executive positions within EnergyAustralia spanning corporate strategy; business development; policy & government affairs; and public affairs gaining deep insight into competitive wholesale and retail electricity and gas markets. Prior to this Clare held several roles at the Energy Supply Association of Australia (esaa) including Chief Executive Officer providing strategic thought leadership to the industry and working with governments to develop policies to support outcomes for both the competitive and regulated sectors of the industry.
Clare commenced her career in the public service – initially in the UK and then at the Federal Department of the Treasury. It was during her time at Treasury that her passion for the energy sector was ignited.
Clare has a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and History) from The University of Melbourne.
On 23 May 2017 Jim Cox was reappointed as a full-time state/territory member of the AER Board for a further three-year term. He was initially appointed in an acting capacity in September 2013. He was confirmed in the role for three years from 26 June 2014.
Jim has held positions with the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Social Welfare Policy Secretariat of the Department of Social Security. He was a principal economist at the Office of the Economic Planning Advisory Council between 1986 and 1989. Between 1989 and 1992 he was a consultant to the New South Wales Cabinet Office. Jim was Principal Adviser to the Government Pricing Tribunal of New South Wales from 1992 and was a member of IPART from January 1996 to September 2013. He was Acting Chairman of IPART in 2004, 2009–10 and 2011 and a visiting fellow at Monash University in 1985.
Jim assisted the New Zealand Government with social policy changes during the early part of 1991. Jim has also written extensively on economic and social policy issues. This work has been published by, among others, the New Zealand Business Roundtable and the Centre for Independent Studies.
Jim was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day honours list in 2011 for outstanding public service to IPART.
Eric Groom PSM
Eric Groom was appointed Board Member of the Australian Energy Regulator in February 2019.
Prior to joining the AER, he was a senior advisor at CEPA and consultant to the World Bank. He was also a member of the AER’s Consumer Challenge Panel. He has over 35 years’ experience as an economist with a focus on regulation, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction.
Formerly he also held senior roles at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales and World Bank and has managed price reviews in electricity, gas, and water.
Mr Groom has worked extensively on a range of relevant energy matters and in 2015 was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) for his contribution to the development of regulation and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Energy Saving Schemes.
Eric has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from Sydney University and a Master of Economics from Macquarie University.
Catriona Lowe was appointed Board Member of the Australian Energy Regulator in February 2020.
Prior to joining the AER, she was a non-Executive director on range of boards, including the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. She was also principal of a consumer focussed consulting practice.
Ms Lowe has over 20 years of experience in litigation and consumer advocacy. She was Co-CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre from 2006-2013. She has also held senior roles with the Consumers’ Federation of Australian and the ACCC.
Catriona has worked extensively on relevant matters including consumer focussed regulation, behavioural economics and effective enforcement and compliance. She has advocated for consumers across a range of markets including financial services, telecommunications and energy.
Catriona has a Bachelor of Laws from Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University).
Justin Oliver was appointed a Board Member of the Australian Energy Regulator in February 2020.
Justin was formerly a partner of MinterEllison, specialising in competition law and energy regulation. Prior to joining MinterEllison, Justin was the head of the ACCC’s regulatory law practice, advising on all aspects of energy, communications and transport regulation, and became the head of legal for the Australian Energy Regulator upon its creation in 2005. Justin has also worked as a senior lawyer in the Victorian Premier’s Department.
For two decades, Justin has acted for governments, regulators and industry participants involved in all parts of Australia’s energy sector. He has worked extensively on a range of relevant issues including gas pipeline access arrangements and electricity network determinations; energy policy reform; and a range of compliance and enforcement issues under laws governing the operation of wholesale energy markets, energy networks, and energy retail businesses.
Justin holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Monash University.
Chief Executive Officer
Michelle Groves is the chief executive officer of the AER. She has held this position since May 2005. Michelle has over twenty years experience in implementation of national competition policy, energy market reform and utility regulation.
Prior to joining the AER, Michelle worked at the National Competition Council, principally in the areas of energy reform and third party access to essential facilities. She also has experience in the state government sector having worked for the Western Australian Government from 1988 to 1993.
Michelle has degrees in history and law from the University of Western Australia and a masters of law from the University of Melbourne.