The COAG Energy Council has agreed to reforms and a new program of work to help the energy system remain affordable and reliable as the country transitions to a lower emissions future.
At today’s meeting, Council focused on three key areas of reform:
- Increasing liquidity and transparency in gas markets
- Empowering consumer choice
- Ensuring stability and connectivity of the National Electricity Market (NEM)
Significant reports on gas market reform from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) provided a strong evidence base and momentum for action.
To fast track implementation of the recommendations from these reports Council will form a new Gas Market Reform Group headed by Dr Michael Vertigan.
Council recognised the growing importance of gas as a transition fuel as the country moves to incorporate more renewables into the system.
Another key focus of the Council will ensure consumers can confidently take advantage of new technologies such as battery storage through the introduction of appropriate consumer protections.
According to Minster for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg, these are among the most significant reforms to the domestic gas market in two decades.
“Council acknowledged the important role played by interconnectors in the NEM and agreed to review regulatory settings to ensure they do not present barriers to appropriate investment in the current market environment,” Mr Frydenberg’s office said in a statement.
“Officials have also been asked to provide advice on economic and operational impacts of existing and proposed state and territory emissions reduction policies on the energy system.
“This advice will inform the Council’s consideration of how to better integrate energy and emissions policy.
“The Council has proved its ability to respond to current issues and I look forward to further engagement with my colleagues when we meet again in December to build on the progress made today.”