Australian Energy Regulator Chairman Andrew Reeves today announced the consultation strategy on Better Regulation, a program of work that will deliver improved regulation focused upon the long term interests of consumers. This follows changes to the National Energy Rules announced by the Australian Energy Market Commission at the end of November 2012.
“This is an important step in moving Australia towards an improved regulatory regime that will ensure that electricity customers pay no more than is necessary for a safe and reliable supply of electricity,” AER Chairman Andrew Reeves said.
Better Regulation builds upon the processes that the AER has developed as an independent regulator since 2005. It includes improved approaches to assessing spending proposals from networks and setting the return that may be earned on network investments. Another key part of Better Regulation are reforms to involve customers in the regulatory decision making process.
“Over the next 12 months the AER will be consulting extensively to deliver an improved approach to regulating Australia’s electricity and gas networks,” Mr Reeves said.
“The AER will be reaching far and wide to ensure that we hear clearly from industry and consumers what is expected from the new regime.”
The AER today conducted a national-wide videoconference forum to begin this process.
“The AER will be developing a balanced approach to regulation that ensures that networks have the certainty they need to continue to invest and deliver a safe and reliable supply of electricity,” Mr Reeves said.
“At the same time, we will be ensuring that this investment is efficient and delivers services that the community values.”
The AER is an independent body with responsibility for the economic regulation of the electricity transmission and distribution networks in the national electricity market. The process by which it undertakes these regulatory responsibilities is set out in detailed electricity rules. The new rules that were released in November followed a reform proposal submitted by the AER in September 2011.