The AEMC performs its functions in accordance with various statutes and regulations. Some of the key laws concerning our organisation and our energy market related functions are set out below, divided into two sections:
- law that is relevant to the establishment and operation of the Commission; and
- law that is relevant to the operation of the National Energy Customer Framework.
Establishment and operation of the Australian Energy Market Commission
The Commission was established in 2005 under the Australian Energy Market Commission Establishment Act 2004 (South Australia). This legislation, and the regulations, may be viewed on the following links:
More information about the Commission, and what we do, is available here.
National Energy Customer Framework
The source of the Commission’s statutory powers to carry out our functions under the National Energy Customer Framework is the National Retail Energy Law (NERL). This is a national law that has been made by the South Australian Parliament, as the lead jurisdiction, and applied or adapted by other states and territories. Changes to the national law may only be made through jurisdictional Parliamentary processes.
The NERL sets out the roles and responsibilities of Australia’s key energy market agencies under the customer framework, including the AEMC, Australian Energy Regulator and Australian Energy Market Operator. It is contained in a Schedule to the National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011.
Each participating jurisdiction adopts the national law by enacting its own application statute. These application statutes set out the extent to which the customer framework is applied in each jurisdiction and, where necessary, enable the co‑existence of any jurisdiction-specific instruments that continue and complement the national law.
To clarify the extent to which the customer framework has been applied in each of the first applying jurisdictions, or may be applied in later applying jurisdictions, you can click on the relevant link below:
Regulations generally deal with administrative matters that follow from the statute law. Under the NERL, the power to make or amend the retail regulations is delegated to the Governor of South Australia. It also sets out the matters for which regulations can be made, although note that there is no requirement that regulations must be made. Regulations can only be made or amended on the unanimous recommendation of the Ministers of the participating states and territories.
For the customer framework, the retail regulations establish such administrative matters as the relevant energy consumption thresholds for customer classifications, and also the content requirements for rule change proposals.
National Energy Retail Rules
The rules are of principal importance to the Commission since one of our key functions is to make and amend rules for the national energy market. This function extends to the electricity rules, the gas rules as well as the energy retail rules. We are required to follow a rule amendment procedure that includes obligations of public consultation and publication of relevant documents.
The National Energy Retail Rules are primarily focussed on the sale and supply of energy to residential and small customers, and also set out the consumer protection measures and basic terms and conditions (contained in model contracts) that govern the relationships between customers, retailers and distributors.
Click here to view the latest version of the National Energy Retail Rules and all historical versions.