Australian Energy Regulator Outlines its 2023-24 Compliance and Enforcement Priorities

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Original media release (20/06/2023) from the Australian Energy Regulator.

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has outlined its 2023–2024 Compliance and Enforcement Priorities to protect energy consumers and keep the energy system stable and secure during the transition.

The AER’s five compliance and enforcement priorities cover retail and wholesale gas and electricity markets and aim to:

  • Improve outcomes for customers experiencing vulnerability, including by improving access to retailer hardship and payment plan protections.
  • Make it easier for consumers to understand their plan and engage in the market by focusing on compliance with billing and pricing information obligations including the Better Bills Guideline.
  • Support power system security and an efficient wholesale electricity market by focusing on generators’ compliance with offers, dispatch instructions, bidding behaviour obligations and providing accurate and timely capability information to AEMO.
  • Improve market participants’ compliance with performance standards and standards for critical infrastructure.
  • Clarify obligations and monitor compliance with reporting requirements under the new Gas Market Transparency Measures.

AER Chair Ms Clare Savage said that cost of living pressures and rising energy prices mean it is more important than ever to ensure customers access hardship and payment plan protections when they need them.

“We know that identifying hardship customers earlier, and getting them support sooner, can take the pressure off and help them get back on their feet,” Ms Savage said.

“We also know that energy bills, and the information they contain, help customers make confident decisions, such as making sure they’re on the best deal for them, or shopping around for a better deal.

“That’s why we’ll be keeping a close eye on energy retailers to make sure they’re complying with the mandatory Better Bills Guideline and producing bills that are easier to understand and include a ‘better offer’ statement on the first page.

“In wholesale markets we’ll be making sure market participants are complying with the rules that ensure the power system remains stable and secure and that markets operate efficiently and transparently,” Ms Savage said.

“With the energy transition in full swing, it’s more important than ever electricity market participants meet their obligations so that the Australian Energy Market Operator can operate the network safety and securely.

“We’ll also be helping the gas sector comply with the new Gas Market Transparency Measures to drive better pricing transparency, improved efficiency of gas markets, facilitate investment decisions and inform government policy,” Ms Savage said.