Ms Cristina Cifuentes has been appointed as the new part-time Member of the Australian Energy Regulator and Associate Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for five years from 27 October 2010.
Ms Cifuentes succeeds Mr Andrew Reeves in this position, after his appointment as Chairman of the AER in July 2010.
The Ministerial Council on Energy, comprising representatives from all the states and territories as well as the Commonwealth, recommended Ms Cifuentes be appointed on an acting basis in September, and this has now been ratified as a five year term.
Ms Cifuentes has formal qualifications in law and economics and her membership of the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal between 1997 and 2006 gives her a breadth of experience in energy networks and market regulation. She also currently holds a number of directorships including with the NSW Treasury Corporation and First State Super Trustee Corporation.
The AER regulates the wholesale electricity market and is responsible for the economic regulation of the electricity transmission and distribution networks in the national electricity market (NEM). The AER is also responsible for the economic regulation of gas transmission and distribution networks, and enforcing the national gas law and national gas rules in all jurisdictions except Western Australia. The AER is an independent legal entity and part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.