Because of the technology revolution families and businesses are not just electricity consumers. They can be power producers. Expanding renewable generation is an opportunity. It also means we must change how we manage the system to keep it working well.

The AEMC undertakes reviews and provides the COAG Energy Council with advice on the design of regulatory and energy market arrangements that put consumers first.

Choice and Control

Helping energy shoppers be more engaged and better informed 

We are very focused on least-cost solutions, bearing in mind that the more costs you put into the system, the greater the burden on consumers. The price of energy is one of the most important inputs to the economy and it’s important to develop a competitive market for new energy services so consumers have more choices in managing their energy bills. We understand the community as a whole is very committed to exploring new technologies and renewable options. Our intention is not to hold this back, but to ensure consumers have the choices they want without putting costs burdens on households and the economy that could be easily avoided with better planning. Above all our rules and reviews work to protect consumers, especially the most vulnerable, as the system changes.

More people are connecting all sorts of equipment to their distribution networks. These are called distributed energy resources including batteries, rooftop solar, electric vehicles, and price-responsive appliances. Regulation is currently flexible enough to support this integration especially as major changes in recent years have reduced network costs and introduced cost-reflective pricing so people can make the most of their investments. Our annual report on promoting efficient investment in the grid of the future analyses how the regulatory framework may need to change to support a grid with more decentralised, local renewable generation. It is most important to protect consumers.

For more information see helping energy shoppers be more engaged and better informed

Reliability

Encouraging the right amount of investment in the power system’s long-term capacity

Australia must have enough electricity available when people need it, and at the lowest cost. We want to encourage the right amount of investment in the power system’s long-term capacity so the operator isn’t forced to intervene more than necessary with higher cost safety-net options. We are expanding the framework to encourage the efficient adoption of new technologies and more transparent information so decisions made by market participants, the operator, regulators and policy makers are better informed.

We are also working on adapting the intervention framework including directions, instructions and strategic reserves so it is fit for the changing power system and only used when necessary.

For more information about reliability and a lower emissions power system please visit reliability: encouraging the right amount of investment in the power system's long term capacity

Security

Making sure the power system can be operated within the correct technical range and keeping it strong enough to withstand faults and failures

As the generation mix changes we need new ways to control frequency when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining. Frequency varies whenever electricity supply does not exactly match consumer demand and uncontrolled changes in frequency can cause widespread blackouts. This year we have worked on an extensive package of new rules to enable new technologies and service providers to provide frequency control services. The program will develop over time in response to AEMO-led trials particularly in relation on how new business models like virtual power plants can be integrated.

For more information about system security please visit reliability: encouraging the right amount of investment in the power system's long term capacity

Gas

Stronger regulation of pipelines and monitoring the effectiveness of changes already underway

Changing the way gas pipelines are regulated will make it cheaper and easier to move gas around the market. This helps keep gas and electricity prices for consumers as low as possible. Gas markets are transforming. Isolated point-to-point pipelines have evolved into an interconnected network with two-way flows. We have built on our comprehensive reviews of the east coast and Victorian gas markets to rebalance negotiating power between pipeline users and owners.

For more information see making it easier to buy and sell gas.