Rabindra Nepal, Flavio Menezes, and Tooraj Jamasb,  School of Economics Discussion Paper No. 510 March 2014, School of Economics, The University of Queensland, and Durham University Business School.

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It is well-understood that the success of liberalizing the electricity supply industry depends crucially on the quality and design of the regulatory and institutional framework. This paper analyses the regulatory arrangements that underpin the work of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). These arrangements are contrasted with the regulatory structure of electricity provision in Norway. A key difference between the reform processes in the two countries relates to the lack of privatization in Norway and the coexistence of private and publicly owned generators and distributors in Australia. This comparative analysis allows us to make several recommendations to improve regulatory arrangements in Australia. These include greater independence for the AER, better coordination among regulatory institutions, greater use of benchmarking analysis, greater customer involvement, and improving market transparency and privatization of government-owned corporations. However, the success of privatization will hinge upon the effectiveness of the regulatory environment.