The AEMC was established in 2005 by the South Australian parliament under the Australian Energy Market Commission Establishment Act 2004 (South Australia). The functions of the AEMC are set out in section 6 of that Act.
There are three overarching laws which are relevant to the governance of energy markets, the:
The AEMC has rule-making and market development functions under these national energy laws.
The key source of statutory powers for the AEMC in relation to the National Electricity Market is the National Electricity Law (NEL). The NEL is contained in a Schedule to the National Electricity (South Australia) Act 1996. The NEL is applied as law in each participating jurisdiction of the NEM by application statutes.
National Electricity Rules
The AEMC is the rule-making body for the National Electricity Rules.
View the latest version and all historical versions of the National Electricity Rules as in force in the Northern Territory.
The key source of statutory powers for the AEMC in relation to the national gas market is the National Gas Law (NGL). The NGL is contained in a Schedule to the National Gas (South Australia) Act 2008. An application statute for each participating jurisdiction governs the extent to which the national gas legislation applies in the relevant jurisdiction.
On 1 January 2010, Western Australia became a participating jurisdiction in the National Gas Law (to the extent set out in the National Gas Access (WA) Act 2009).
National Gas Rules
The AEMC is the rule-making body for the National Gas Rules.
The National Energy Retail Law (NERL) and National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) came into effect on 1 July 2012. The extent to which this law applies in each state and territory depends on the application of legislation passed by each jurisdiction.
The National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) has been adopted in Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales.
Development of the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) was overseen by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) through the COAG Energy Council (formerly the Ministerial Council on Energy), with the purpose of supporting the delivery of a national and efficient energy market as set out in the Australian Energy Market Agreement (AEMA).
Legally, the customer framework consists of a package of reforms: these are the National Energy Retail Law, which implements the framework, together with the National Energy Retail Regulations 2012, the National Energy Retail Rules, and various amendments to regulations and rules under the separate wholesale electricity and natural gas regimes.
Application Acts in each participating jurisdiction set out the specific jurisdictional arrangements of each jurisdiction for transitioning to the NECF, and any jurisdiction-specific requirements.
The AEMC has prepared a guide to how the National Energy Customer Framework applies in each jurisdiction that has adopted it.
The National Energy Customer Framework has commenced in the following jurisdictions:
- The Australian Capital Territory (commenced 1 July 2012)
- Tasmania (commenced 1 July 2012)
- The Commonwealth (commenced 1 July 2012)
- South Australia (commenced 1 February 2013)
- New South Wales (commenced 1 July 2013)
- Queensland (commenced 1 July 2015)
The National Energy Customer Framework does not currently apply in Victoria, Western Australia or the Northern Territory.
View the National Energy Retail Regulations 2010.
National Energy Retail Rules
The AEMC is the rule-making body for the NERR as it is for the National Electricity Rules (NER) and National Gas Rules (NGR).
The National Energy Retail Rules are primarily focused 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.