Our role

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council is a Ministerial forum for the Commonwealth, states and territories and New Zealand, to work together in the pursuit of national energy reforms.

The Energy Council is guided by its Terms of Reference and its work covers the following broad themes:

  • Overarching responsibility and policy leadership for Australian gas and electricity markets
  • Promotion of energy efficiency and energy productivity in Australia.
  • Australian electricity, gas and petroleum product energy security.
  • Cooperation between Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
  • Facilitating the economic and competitive development of Australia’s mineral and energy resources.

The Council’s approach is based on these principles:

  • Promoting the interests of electricity and gas consumers by overseeing the development and maintenance of competitive electricity and gas markets and effective regulation of network monopoly infrastructure;
  • Greater productivity, energy efficiency and sustainability to be core goals;
  • Industry and other stakeholder participation in policy development and implementation;
  • Regulatory and governance reform to streamline processes and decision-making and deliver outcomes more efficiently and consistently.

At the 23 July 2015 Energy Council meeting, Ministers discussed progress made in aligning the Council's work program around six strategic themes: generation, networks, retail, energy productivity, natural gas, and resources productivity and development and agreed to a Reform Implementation Plan. The Plan is intended to inform stakeholders of the status of key work streams within these strategic themes.

The Council was established by COAG in December 2013 as part of a decision to streamline the COAG council system and refocus it on COAG’s priorities. Find out more about the council system on the COAG website.

Engaging with the Council

There are opportunities to engage with both the Energy Council and its Senior Committee of Officials. Stakeholders, including industry and community representatives, are invited to Council meetings and their advice is sought throughout the development of responses to key issues through roundtables and submissions.

Normally Council agendas are not available publicly prior to a meeting. However, Council decisions are made public through meeting communiques, which record the outcomes of the meeting, and Council bulletins, both of which are available on the Council website.