Changes to WA’s energy sector governance

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WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston and Premier Mark McGowan

The McGowan Government has made a suite of regulatory changes to improve governance arrangements for Western Australia’s energy sector. 

The updated framework recognises the need for strategic leadership and co-ordination, and ensures the sector can efficiently respond to the state’s energy transformation challenges.

WA’s electricity sector is experiencing a major transformation due to the rapid uptake of rooftop solar panels and battery storage systems, and increasing levels of large-scale renewable generators, such as wind and solar farms.

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The updated governance framework takes effect from July 1, 2021.

Key changes include:

  • transferring responsibility for administration of the Wholesale Electricity Market Rules and Gas Services Information Rules from the Rule Change Panel to the Coordinator of Energy; 
  • transferring responsibility for market development functions, including policy and technical reviews, from the Economic Regulation Authority to the Coordinator of Energy; 
  • allocating development of Whole of System Plans to the Coordinator of Energy; 
  • allocating responsibility for the new rules for the North West Interconnected System to the Coordinator of Energy; and
  • creating a new energy market evolution function for the Coordinator of Energy.  

The Coordinator of Energy, supported by Energy Policy WA, will assist the Minister for Energy in planning and co-ordinating the delivery of energy across WA.

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WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said, “The energy transformation we started in 2019 requires responsive governance to ensure it delivers reliable, sustainable and affordable energy supply for all customers into the future.

“Stakeholders have raised concerns about the potential gap in governance beyond the Energy Transformation Taskforce, which the McGowan Government has now addressed.

“The changes tackle the deficiencies in the current governance arrangements. They are not a reflection on the performance of any of the existing governance bodies.”