Electricity distribution code review
- Project Released: 5 Apr 2022
- Project Closes: Jul 2025
- Contact: Rowan McKeown
The Commission has completed a review of the Electricity Distribution Code (Code). The Code sets out consumer protections that apply to the distribution of electricity to customers in South Australia. It includes customer service standards, network reliability standards and a Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) scheme. In practice, the Code applies only to the distribution network operated by SA Power Networks.
The review has assessed the effectiveness of the Code and made necessary changes. It has been timed to align with the SA Power Networks revenue determination process. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) makes a revenue determination for SA Power Networks every five years. The next period is from 1 July 2025 – 30 June 2030.
Current status is Final
The Commission has made a final decision on its Electricity Distribution Code (Code) review. The main elements of the final decision are to:
- Amend the Code so it formally applies only to SA Power Networks, which is already the case in practice.
- Retain the minimum network reliability performance targets and reporting thresholds in the current Code to apply in the 2025 – 2030 period. This is sufficient to facilitate reliability outcomes that satisfy the Commission’s legislative requirements, are consistent with those of other National Electricity Market distributors and meet consumer expectations.
- Retain existing regional performance reporting requirements to apply in the 2025 – 2030 period, and not establish minimum network standards for regions. Reporting requirements are sufficient for the Commission to maintain oversight of regional reliability, and there is no evidence of long-term decline.
- Require that stand-alone power system (SAPS) feeders are included in regional performance reporting, and not establish minimum network standards for SAPS feeders because these are provided by the national regulatory framework.
- Ensure that Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payments apply to all distribution customers, including those on SAPS feeders.
- Add two new minimum customer service standards to the Code for the 2025 – 2030 period. These relate to telephone responsiveness and first call resolution and apply specifically to the General Enquiries line and the Builders and Contractors line.
- Retain the minimum customer service standard for telephone enquiry responsiveness but limit its application to SA Power Networks other telephone lines (most significantly, the Faults and Emergencies line).
- Remove the street light repair service standard and the street light repair Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payment. A street light repair service level is included in the Public Lighting Service Framework, and the GSL payment has limited benefit. Annual reporting on street light outages and repairs will be retained during the 2025 – 2030 period to monitor the impact of these changes.
- Remove clauses relating to the connection of embedded generation that are duplicated in the broader national and State regulatory framework and remove and refer remaining clauses to the Technical Regulator to consider whether those matters should be provided for in the broader State framework.
The Commission would be pleased to meet with stakeholders to discuss this final decision.