Electricity distribution code review
- Project Released: 5 Apr 2022
- Project Closes: Jul 2025
- Contact: Rowan McKeown
The Commission is undertaking 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 will assess the effectiveness of the Code and make changes if needed. It is 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. The Commission plans to publish a draft decision on any proposed changes to the Code in January 2023 and a final decision in June 2023.
Current status is Draft
The Commission has made a draft decision on its Electricity Distribution Code (Code) review. The main proposals in the draft decision are to:
- Amend the Code so it 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.
- Retain the minimum customer service standards for telephone and written enquiry responsiveness in the current Code to apply in the 2025 – 2030 period. These continue to be important to customers and provide a baseline for SA Power Networks’ customer service outcomes.
- 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.
- 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 welcomes feedback, discussions and meetings with stakeholders on the proposals set out in the draft decision by Friday 10 March 2023.
The Commission intends to publish a final decision on the Code review in June 2023.
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