Functions and powers

The AER regulates energy markets and networks under national energy market legislation and rules. Its core functions, which mostly relate to energy markets in eastern and southern Australia, include:

  • • setting the prices charged for using energy networks (electricity poles and wires and gas pipelines) to transport energy to customers;
  • • monitoring wholesale electricity and gas markets to ensure suppliers comply with the legislation and rules, and taking enforcement action where necessary;
  • • regulating retail energy markets in the ACT, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania (electricity only) and New South Wales. This includes enforcing compliance with retail legislation; authorising retailers to sell energy; approving retailers’ policies for dealing with customers in hardship; administering a national retailer of last resort scheme; reporting on retailer performance; educating consumers and small businesses about their energy rights; and managing the energy price comparison website - Energy Made Easy;
  • • publishing information on energy markets, including the annual State of the energy market report and more detailed market and compliance reporting, to assist participants and the wider community.

In addition, the AER assists the ACCC with energy related issues arising under the CCA, including enforcement, mergers and adjudication.

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