Every day, AEMO receives a number of calls from members of the public or businesses about their energy. It’s a complex area, with many different processes and organisations involved. Omer Ozcelik works in AEMO’s Information and Support Hub and has compiled a list of some of the most asked questions, answers about what AEMO does – and doesn’t do – in the National Energy Market.

What does the Australian Energy Market Operator do? Are you a private or public organisation?

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is responsible for operating Australia’s largest gas and electricity markets and power systems, excluding the Northern Territory. We are a public company, incorporated as a company limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act, and operate on a cost recovery basis, recovering our operating costs through fees paid by energy market participants. Our members are made up of Australian governments (60%) and energy industry participants (40%).  We operate within a broader energy market governance structure alongside the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). Click here for a simple one page view on how it all works.

I would like to know how much electricity I have used over a period of time at my property – can you give me this data?

AEMO does not have visibility of customer names or contact information for properties, so cannot assist with such meter data requests – instead you should contact your retailer or Distributor for historical billing information and related data requests. In most cases, your retailer can usually provide this data. If you have a smart meter, you could ask for interval data to obtain detailed information about when you use your energy.  However there are factors that will contribute to not being able to gather this data including transferring retailers within the defined period and meter changes/upgrades within the defined period.

A transfer from my existing energy provider to my new one did not complete – it was suggested to me that AEMO may be blocking this.

AEMO does not block or refuse transfer of customers. Any issues with a customer transfer should be raised with your incoming retailer for them to assist and resolve. AEMO provides Information Technology services to network operators and retailers who use a database to transfer customers. We run an automated daily update on all market transactions that include retailer requests to transfer customers from one provider to another.

My address on my bill is different to my physical address…my retailer told me AEMO updates this?

All properties that have a compliant energy meter in Australia (excluding NT) are recorded in a database provided as an Information Technology service to network operators and retailers. The link between the meter and the address is based on the network operator providing the correct information and uploading the data into the database. If you notice any incorrect information, this should be reported to your current retailer who will arrange for the distributor to lodge an appropriate change request with AEMO.

I can’t get anyone to change the street light on my street: I’ve been told its ‘government-owned’ – is that AEMO?

AEMO does not own energy infrastructure assets such as transmission pylons, wires, high voltage towers, substations or street lights. Any issues with street lighting should be directed to your faults and emergencies number on your energy retailer invoice.

I have a complaint about my bill – I was told to speak to AEMO?

All billing queries and complaints should be directed to your current retailer. If you do not get satisfaction from your retailer and want to escalate the issue, you may contact your state ombudsman. AEMO does not bill consumers directly, and we have no record of invoices as issued by a retailer to its customers.

Who can I speak to about my commercial property and network charges?

You can speak to your current retailer about invoice queries, charges, usage and other issues.

You say AEMO operates the market, but I thought my network service provider controlled how much power and reserve there is in my area?

AEMO and your network operator work together for a mutually beneficial outcome of system security and reliability. The main difference between a local network service provider and AEMO is that your provider will distribute energy within their local geographic region only, while AEMO will oversee distribution operations for all distributors within a jurisdiction (excluding NT). AEMO also forecasts, reviews and analyses supply/demand.

I have rooftop solar and generate a lot of surplus energy back to the grid via my retailer. I would like to know if I can sell this surplus energy back to the “energy market” directly - and perhaps even to my own customer-base?

A lot of households are introducing rooftop solar and battery storage to counter-balance energy costs and to have greater input around their energy consumption. The retailer will generally agree to rebate your surplus energy back into the grid at a set rate. If you wish to sell in excess of 5MW of electricity a year, you will be classified as a ‘solar farm’ and will potentially need to be registered as a participant, raising matters such as:

  • Australian Energy Regulator approval and licensing
  • Market exemption requirements
  • AEMO application and review processes (includes business cases, industry knowledge, credit availability etc.)
  • Compliance with Technical Requirements under the National Electricity Rules.

For further information regarding wholesale registration, please contact onboarding@aemo.com.au   

I have issues with my gas bill/provider – does AEMO have any involvement with gas supply?

AEMO does not bill consumers directly; billing and related matters should be discussed directly with your gas retailer.
AEMO’s role in gas includes:

  • Operating gas retail markets in NSW and the ACT, Qld, SA, VIC and WA.
  • Operating wholesale gas markets in south-eastern Australia, e.g. the Declared Wholesale Gas Market in VIC; Short Term Trading Markets in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney; and the Gas Supply Hub, with trading locations at Wallumbilla (QLD), and Moomba (SA);
  • Operating the Natural Gas Services Bulletin Board.

At a high level, in the same fashion as electricity, AEMO helps pipeline operators and networks to manage supply across the entire network, based on demand, forecasting reports that include temperatures changes, expected demand, LNG train import/ exports and other environmental factors, and provides Information Technology systems to operators and retailers to make trades/bids and review pipeline flows.

Useful links

Building near high voltage transmission lines:
Each jurisdiction has different regulations, but this guide from Energysafe Victoria is a helpful start: http://www.esv.vic.gov.au/pdfs/building-design-near-overhead-powerlines/

Making a complaint:
https://www.aer.gov.au/consumers/making-a-complaint/who-is-my-distributor

Understanding your bill:
https://www.aer.gov.au/consumers/my-energy-bill

If you need more information, or have other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact AEMO’s Information and Support Hub on 1300 236 600 or via email at supporthub@aemo.com.au.