Australia’s national electricity market has reached an important milestone today, with the start of five minute settlement and new rules on customer switching.

The landmark five minute settlement reform is one of the most significant reforms the national electricity market has seen to date. It will send price signals for new fast energy technologies needed as the sector decarbonises. The reform means that electricity spot prices will be settled in five minute rather than 30 minute intervals – helping secure ultra-rapid new resources such as batteries.

New rules on customer switching that also take effect today have reformed the process of changing electricity retailers – so customers will be transferred within two days regardless of which type of meter they have.   

It is exciting to see these new rules taking effect – they have involved extensive work from the AEMC team and our colleagues at the Australian Energy Market Operator who have managed this large-scale implementation. It has also meant hard work and good will from participants in the energy market, who have adapted their systems to make way for this monumental change.

Both changes mean a better energy market for consumers.

Both are examples of what can be achieved by taking a collaborative approach to change.

And both pave the way for innovation and lower costs as we move towards a low-carbon future.

There is much more to do, and much more work under way: integrating energy storage technologies into the NEM, making sure we have the essential systems services we need, and harnessing the power of distributed energy resources such as solar panels and electric vehicles to name a few. A new wholesale demand response mechanism due to take effect this month will also add options to the market by financially valuing energy demand and scheduling it into the system.

But on any journey, it’s important to pause, acknowledge milestone points along the way and to celebrate success. Thanks to all who have played a role in that.