In May 2020 the Prime Minister announced the cessation of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), including the former COAG Energy Council. The COAG Energy Council has been replaced by the Energy National Cabinet Reform Committee (ENCRC) and the Energy Ministers’ Meeting (EMM). These are Ministerial forums for the Commonwealth, states and territories and New Zealand to work together on priority issues of national significance and key reforms in the energy sector.
ENCRC and EMM are chaired by the Honourable Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor.
Energy Ministers work closely with Energy Consumers Australia, and have oversight of the following energy market institutions responsible for the operation of national energy markets:
- The Energy Security Board (ESB)—whole of system oversight through transition
- the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)—the rule maker and market development adviser
- the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)—the system operator
- the Australian Energy Regulator (AER)—the economic regulator and rule enforcer
The role of Energy Ministers in energy market reform and the associated governance arrangements are set out the intergovernmental agreement known as the Australian Energy Market Agreement (AEMA), as amended December 2013.
Energy Ministers are supported in developing national energy market policy by the Energy Senior Officials (ESO). ESO is composed of senior officials from State and Territories Government Departments and is chaired by the Commonwealth.
Energy Ministers have oversight of the three national market institutions responsible for the operation of national energy markets, including the National Electricity Market (NEM). These are:
- the Australian Energy Market Commission - the rule maker and market development adviser;
- the Australian Energy Market Operator - the system operator; and
- the Australian Energy Regulator - the economic regulator and rule enforcer.
The Energy Security Board (ESB) was established in August 2017 by the forma COAG Energy Council to coordinate the implementation of the reform blueprint produced by Australia's Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel.
The ESB will also provide whole of system oversight for energy security and reliability to drive better outcomes for consumers. The ESB reports to the Energy Ministers.
A comprehensive review of energy market governance, the Review of Governance Arrangements in Australian Energy Markets, was completed in October 2015 and was considered by Ministers at the December 2015 Council meeting.
Energy Ministers also works closely with:
- Energy Consumers Australia - advocate for the long-term interests of energy consumers; and the
- National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority - regulators of safety, well integrity and environmental management for the offshore petroleum industry.
An overview on the Energy Market Governance Framework is available on the Establishment of the Energy Security Board page.