Energy Security Board

Overview of the Energy Security Board

In August 2017 a new Energy Security Board (ESB), chaired by Dr Kerry Schott AO, was established by the COAG Energy Council. The Board’s role is to coordinate the implementation of the reform blueprint produced by Australia's Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO.

The ESB will also provide whole of system oversight for energy security and reliability to drive better outcomes for consumers. The ESB comprises an Independent Chair, Independent Deputy Chair and the heads of the Australian Energy Market Commission, Australian Energy Regulator and Australian Energy Market Operator.

More information on the Overview of the ESB can be found in it's Terms of Reference.

Retailer Reliability Obligation

The Retailer Reliability Obligation (RRO) came into effect on 1 July 2019. It was designed by the ESB and is an outcome of extensive consultation beginning in October 2017. The RRO will support a reliable energy system by requiring energy retailers and some large energy users to hold contracts or invest directly in generation or demand response to support reliability in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Integrated System Plan

At the request of the Council, the ESB developed an Integrated System Plan (ISP) Action Plan which set out twelve recommendations on:

  • how Group 1 projects in the ISP can be delivered as soon as practicable
  • how Group 2 and 3 projects should be progressed; and
  • how the ISP would be converted into an actionable strategic plan.

The ESB is working with market bodies to  progress these recommendations.  A consultation paper on converting the ISP into action was released in May 2019.

Post-2025 Market Design for the National Electricity Market

The Council tasked the ESB with developing advice on a long-term, fit-for-purpose market framework to support reliability that could apply from the mid-2020's.

By the end of 2020, the ESB needs to recommend any changes to the existing market design or recommend an alternative market design to enable the provision of the full range of services to customers necessary to deliver a secure, reliable and lower emissions electricity system at least-cost.

Strategic Energy Plan

The Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (the Finkel Review) recommended that, by mid-2018, the Council develop and maintain a Strategic Energy Plan for the NEM. The purpose of the Strategic Energy Plan is to ensure a clear strategic focus for the Council’s work and to provide clarity of direction to market bodies and market participants. The Council has tasked the ESB with developing the Strategic Energy Plan.

Health of the National Electricity Market

Each year the ESB delivers a Health of the National Electricity Market report to the Council that tracks the performance of the system, the risks it faces, and the opportunities for improvement. The ESB has reported on the health of the NEM annually since December 2017.

ACCC Recommendations

The ESB was tasked by the Council with providing advice on Recommedations 1, 3, 6, 7, 14 and 41 of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Retailer Electricity Pricing Inquiry - Final Report (June 2018).

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Integration Workplan

Australia faces challenges and opportunities to successfully integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER) in its electricity system. DER include controllable hot water systems and air conditioning, rooftop solar, battery storage and electric vehicles. DER are a growing part of the electricity system and the energy market institutions are working together to ensure all consumers benefit through efficient integration of DER. DER integration can be categorised into ‘technical and operational’, ‘market and business model’, and ‘regulatory and planning’ challenges and their potential solutions

The ESB has developed a DER Integration Workplan of priority actions focussed on technical, regulatory and market integration. Many of these actions are already underway and the energy market institutions are working collaboratively on implementing the Workplan with the ESB, including through the Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP). The DEIP is a collaborative program of work initiated by ARENA, involving the energy market institutions, industry, academic and consumer bodies. In addition, market integration of DER is part of the ESB’s broader post-2025 review of energy markets.

For more information, please contact the ESB’s DER Strategy Specialist at

Recent Energy Security Board announcements