Australian state energy ministers have forged a deal with the federal government that will see state-based regulators replaced by a single national body, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

The change, which is due to take place from 1 July, is aimed at removing overlaps in regulation and increasing confidence for investment in the energy sector. Initially the new regulatory body will be funded by the Treasury but states are expected to contribute to the operating costs in due course.

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said, “This is a clear signal to potential investors that Australia will offer a streamlined regulatory process for the express purpose of encouraging more investment in energy generation.” Macfarlane added, “Australia will require about A$20 billion (€11.5 billion) investment in new power generation over the next decade just to keep abreast of its growing energy demand.”

The Australian Energy Market Commission, which is to take over national rule-making and development of the energy market is also due to launch on 1 July.