The Australian Energy Market Commission today released its 2013-14 Annual Report, highlighting the work under way to prepare energy markets for a consumer driven transformation.

“In years to come, the energy sector may look very different to the one we have today – driven by consumers making more informed choices about how they use energy,” said Commission Chairman John Pierce.

With that in mind, the Commission refreshed its strategic priorities during the year in review with a key focus on increasing consumer participation in the market.

“In 2013-14, the AEMC’s work has progressed from extensive consultation with stakeholders on wide-ranging reviews including the Power of Choice, to delivering rule changes that COAG and others have requested from those reviews.

“We have progressed five rule changes arising from the Power of Choice review, including changes to distribution network pricing arrangements, expanding competition in metering and related services as well as improving customer access to information about their energy consumption.”

The AEMC also continued its work on retail competition with completion of its first national Retail Competition Review. This analysis, along with the NSW Retail Competition Review, were inputs to the decision by New South Wales and Queensland governments to remove electricity retail price regulation, paving the way for greater consumer choice.

“In delivering on our other market development priorities, we remain focused on the need for consumers, industry and investors to have confidence that energy market frameworks will evolve appropriately.”

In 2013-14, the Commission made 11 rule changes in relation to electricity, four gas rule changes and progressed a number of key market development initiatives as part of our other strategic priorities, including the Financial Market Resilience and Optional Firm Access Design and Testing reviews.

“Importantly we are also evolving as an organisation to ensure we can meet the challenges that an evolving market will deliver.”

In 2013-14, the AEMC completed a smooth transition to a new Senior Management Team, led by incoming Chief Executive Paul Smith. There was also a restructure of teams beneath Mr Smith to better reflect the priority areas of work and improve the ability to demonstrate strategic leadership in market development.

As the Commission continued its ambitious reform program in 2013-14, it re-doubled its efforts in stakeholder engagement to draw on their experience in knowledge in developing energy market rule changes and reviews.

"In 2012-13 the Commission completed a record 258 stakeholder engagement activities. Last financial year we doubled that number to 531 which reflects our determination to reach out to industry, consumer groups and other stakeholders,” Mr Pierce said.

The AEMC's 2013-14 Annual Report is available at