What is IPART’s role in energy?

Since electricity and gas prices were deregulated in NSW, IPART has been required to monitor the electricity and gas retail markets. We commenced this role in 2015 for electricity and 2018 for gas. We must report on the previous financial year by November each year.

Our market monitoring role is set out in the National Energy Retail Law (NSW). We must report on:

  • the extent to which retailers are competing to attract and retain small customers
  • the participation of small customers in each market
  • any barriers to entry to or exit from, or expansion, in each market
  • whether price movements and price and product diversity in each market are consistent with a competitive market
  • prices of electricity for small customers in regional areas

We consider these factors in combination to assess whether competition is protecting customers in NSW.

We must also report on:

  • whether there are any actions needed to improve the competitiveness of the market, if we are of the opinion that it is required
  • whether a detailed review of retail prices and profit margins in each market is required.

See our most recent findings and previous reviews.

In addition to our energy market monitoring role, each year we publish a “solar feed-in tariff” guide each year about what you can expect your retailer to pay you for your solar energy.

What information can we consider in our market monitoring reports?

The legislation limits the information we can consider in our role to:

  •  information provided by the AEMC and the AER
  • any publicly available information
  • information provided by a retailer with particulars of the number of market offer customers of the retailer, the market offer prices of those customers, the number of customers on each standing offer price offered by the retailer that has been publicly advertised, and those standing offer prices.

In addition to our annual market monitoring reports, the legislation also provides for the Minister to ask IPART to undertake special reviews in connection with the energy market. For these reviews, we are not limited in the information that we can consider.  

Where can I find more information on retail energy markets?  

For the last decade, the retail markets in most states have been regulated under the same National Energy Retail Rules. They are regulated and monitored by cross-jurisdictional bodies, including the ACCC and the AER. Their reports are included in the table below.

Given this broader oversight of the markets, IPART’s annual report is focused on the available information and price trends most relevant to NSW.

Regulator Scope of the review Fuel Role commenced Reporting
EWON Customer complaints – NSW Electricity and gas 2016 Quarterly
AEMC Price trends – National Energy Market Electricity only 2011 Typically annually
AER State of the market – National Energy Market Electricity and gas 2007 July each year
AER Annual retail markets report – National Energy Market Electricity and gas 2013 November each year
ACCC Prices, profits and margins for retail and wholesale sectors, cost changes and drivers, and barriers to entry - National Energy Market Electricity only 2019 Every six months until 2025.
AEMC Competition – National Energy Market Electricity and gas 2014 to 2020 June each year