The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has welcomed new monitoring, compliance and advisory powers as a result of National Cabinet agreeing to interventions in wholesale gas, coal and electricity markets, and the passing of legislation through New South Wales Parliament.
The intergovernmental agreement between the Commonwealth and NSW governments in relation to price caps on coal means the AER will take on several key functions that will commence immediately.
AER Chair Ms Clare Savage said the powers will give the regulator new monitoring, compliance and advisory functions to ensure coal mines and power stations in New South Wales comply with directions and enable reporting on the impacts of the market interventions.
“Ensuring the temporary price cap, and related directions under the legislation, are operating effectively is vital to putting downward pressure on electricity prices and bringing relief for households and businesses,” Ms Savage said.
“We also welcome the opportunity to also provide advice to governments about the impact of the interventions on market dynamics and the overall effectiveness of the intervention.”
“Our engagement with coal suppliers and power stations is progressing well and we will soon publish guidance that will clearly set out the operation of the directions and reporting obligations.”
“As regulator, the AER will ensure coal suppliers and power stations comply with the directions by analysing reporting from coal suppliers and power stations, seeking feedback from industry and conducting compliance audits.”
Ms Savage said high energy prices are placing significant pressure on Australian households and businesses and these new powers come at a very important time.
“These new powers build upon the AER’s market surveillance and compliance expertise and Australian energy consumers should be confident they will provide assurance during a time of market volatility.”