The COAG Energy Council (the Council) is a Ministerial forum made up of representatives of the Commonwealth, State, Territory and New Zealand governments. It has responsibility for monitoring and reforming national energy markets. This includes increasing the nationwide consistency of national energy market regulatory frameworks to reduce costs and improve energy sector efficiency. More information can be found in the Council’s Terms of Reference.
The role of the Council 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.
The Council is supported in developing national energy market policy by the Senior Committee of Officials (SCO). SCO is composed of senior officials from Council members and is chaired by the Commonwealth.
The Council has 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 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 Council.
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.
The Council 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.