In December 2016, the COAG Energy Council tasked the AEMC with providing advice on strategic priorities for the Australian energy sector. Together with our stakeholders we have identified four priority areas that require focus and action from governments, institutions and industry to improve consumer outcomes in the Australian energy sector. This advice has been provided to the COAG Energy Council to inform the development of its strategic energy plan.

The 2017 Strategic priorities advice builds on the self-initiated strategic priorities reviews the AEMC has used since 2011 to help guide our advice to the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council and our approach to rule making. It also responds to recommendations made by Dr Michael Vertigan in his 2015 independent review of governance arrangements for Australian energy markets and Dr Alan Finkel in his independent review into the future security of the national electricity market.

Our strategic priorities advice looks to the future to help foster an energy sector with the flexibility to respond to changes in technology and business models, increasingly being driven by consumer choices. It proposes specific priority areas for focus and action by governments, market bodies and industry, and provides the COAG Energy Council with a set of “tools” to assist it in managing the sector strategically.

From among the broad set of industry issues and goals, and informed by extensive consultation with stakeholders the priorities relate to:

  • making the market work for consumers, particularly in relation to prices and participation options
  • the need to integrate environment and energy policies
  • key areas requiring market redesign, and
  • improving sectoral governance.