Energy is essential to the operation of modern Australian society and access to energy for all Australians enables participation in our modern economy.

Australian society relies on energy for:

  • the distribution of fresh drinking water
  • the provision of food
  • building houses, heating or cooling them, and keeping the lights on
  • transport
  • the provision of health services
  • the development of the economy

and many other essential services that make our modern society possible.

Due to the unique properties of electricity, the electricity system in Australia includes competitive electricity markets and regulated networks.

Like electricity, gas is supplied via a gas system and includes both gas markets and regulated networks. Gas pipelines in Australia are registered on the gas scheme register.

The retail sector is the final link in the electricity and gas supply chains. It is where retailers provide energy services to end-use customers.

The energy system consists of large-scale long-lived infrastructure so it is important to get decision making right about the development of the system.

The AEMC's role is to make rules which govern the electricity and natural gas systems and markets, including the retail elements of those markets.

We also support the development of the energy systems and markets by providing advice to the COAG Energy Council.

The objective of the AEMC’s work is to promote an efficient, reliable and secure energy system which serves the long-term interests of consumers.

All aspects of our work reflect the view that effective competition at wholesale and retail levels, together with appropriate regulation for network services is the best way to deliver efficient, reliable and safe energy for consumers as required by the national energy objectives.

Australian energy markets have been established successively from 1998 onwards.