The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (the Commission) is an independent economic regulator, established under the Essential Services Commission Act 2002, which came into effect on 12 September 2002. The Commission is the same body corporate as the former South Australian Independent Industry Regulator (SAIIR) established in 1999, which was previously responsible for some of the Commission's regulatory functions.
The Commission’s objective, specified in the Essential Services Commission Act 2002 (ESC Act), is the:
“protection of the long term interests of South Australian consumers with respect to
the price, quality and reliability of essential services”
Essential services are defined as being electricity, gas, water and sewerage, maritime, rail and any other services prescribed from time to time.
The Commission undertakes a number of functions in carrying out its regulatory functions. Most of the Commission’s functions cannot be actioned in the absence of specific reference in industry legislation. The table below summarises the nature of the regulatory tasks performed by the Commission in each sector.