Energy minister welcomes AEMC proposals

Victorian energy minister Michael O'Brien has welcomed changes to the regulation of electricity and gas networks proposed by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC).

The minister said he welcomes these proposed alterations which he hopes will reduce rising gas and electricity prices.

He added that while there is increased ability for scrutiny under these changes, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is still being hampered by its association with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Mr O'Brien stated: "The best rules in the world will amount to nothing if the regulator does not have the resources, expertise and independence to enforce them.

"If the Commonwealth Government insists on keeping the AER starved of appropriate funds and shackled within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the benefits of these reforms to network rules will be undermined."

The energy supplied to Victorians is done so through a number of privately owned companies but they are regulated by the AER.

The new rules announced by the AEMC include establishing new ways for the regulator to efficiently and cost effectively invest in new infrastructure and providing a greater amount of power to the regulator to ensure that customer's money is being spent appropriately.

Posted by Charlie Moore