icon-electricity SA Power Networks 2020 reliability standards review

  • Project Released: 4 Dec 2017
  • Project Closes: Jan 2019
  • Contact: Rowan McKeown


The Commission reviews the jurisdictional service standards that apply to SA Power Networks every five years, prior to the commencement of a new revenue regulation period. The Commission’s standards, established under the Electricity Act 1996, set reliability performance requirements for SA Power Networks.

This review established the reliability standards for SA Power Networks for the 2020-2025 period. The final standards were developed by considering the wide ranging views of stakeholders, including feedback collected through a customer survey. The Commission released its final decision in January 2019.



Current status is Final

  • Initiate
  • Submissions
  • Draft
  • Submissions
  • Final


The Commission has made its final decision on the reliability standards framework that will apply to SA Power Networks from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2025.

The final decision results in two main enhancements to the Commission’s framework: 
increased accountability of SA Power Networks to its customers through an enhanced regional reporting regime, and
controlled GSL scheme costs achieved by refocusing payments to customers with ongoing, persistent reliability issues.

Network reliability standards will be set to require SA Power Networks to maintain reliability at current levels, rather than improve or reduce performance. 

This approach is supported by results of a customer survey showing customers are satisfied with reliability outcomes, and have limited willingness to pay for reliability improvements. Results of economic assessments show no clear economic benefit in setting targets to improve performance. 

Performance targets will continue to apply to feeder-type categories. SA Power Networks will be required to report annually on its performance in ten regions. It will be required to report directly to its customers to fulfil regular reporting requirements, to provide explanations when it misses performance targets, and following significant network outages.

Current one-off duration of interruption Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payments will be replaced with total annual duration of interruption payments. 

This will control the costs of the GSL scheme, which are met by all SA Power Networks customers, and refocus it on customers with ongoing, persistent reliability issues. 

This approach is supported by evidence: that customers are not willing to pay as much as they do now for the GSL scheme; that many payments are currently made to customers that generally have average or good reliability; and, that current levels of duration payments are not a strong driver of SA Power Networks’ response to interruptions. 

Further changes to the GSL scheme set out in this decision include: replacing tiered frequency of interruption GSL payments with a flat payment, and removing GSL payments for late attendance at appointments.