The Utilities Commission of the Northern Territory is the independent industry regulator, established to oversee those industries declared to be regulated industries. The Commission is responsible for the promotion and safeguard of competition and fair and efficient market conduct or, in the absence of a competitive market, the simulation of competitive market conduct and the prevention of the misuse of monopoly power.

While the Commission has been established as a separate administrative unit within the Department of Treasury and Finance (NT), it has specific statutory powers and undertakes its considerations independently from NT Treasury and Finance.

The Commission was established on 17 March 2000 under the Utilities Commission Act as part of wider reforms by the Northern Territory Government to create an economic regulatory framework for regulated industries. The object of the Act is to create an economic regulatory framework for regulated industries that promotes and safeguards competition and fair and efficient market conduct or, in the absence of a competitive market, that promotes the simulation of competitive market conduct and the prevention of the misuse of monopoly power.

The Commission is a body corporate, constituted by the Utilities Commissioner and any Associate Commissioners, and has functions and powers for the economic regulation of electricity supply, water supply and sewerage services, and declared ports in the Territory in relevant industry specific legislation. The Commission also provides advice to the Minister on regulatory matters.

Mr Lyndon Rowe is the Utilities Commissioner and Mr Richard Owens is the Associate Commissioner.

The Commission is supported by the staff in the Office of the Commission seconded from the Department of Treasury and Finance (Northern Territory). The Commission also engages the services of consultants as needed.

Commissioners 

Mr Rowe was appointed as the (part-time) Utilities Commissioner on 1 January 2019, having served as a (part-time) Associate Commissioner of the Utilities Commission since on 6 April 2018. Mr Rowe is currently a Director of Perth Airport Pty Ltd and associated companies. From 2014-2017, he was the full-time Chair of the Electricity Generation and Retail Corporation of WA (trading as Synergy). For the previous ten years he was the inaugural Executive Chair of the Economic Regulation Authority of WA. Mr Rowe is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has an economics degree from the University of Adelaide.

Mr Owens was appointed as an Associate Utilities Commissioner on 6 April 2018. Mr Owens also works part-time as Executive General Manager, Networks at the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC). He was a member of the taskforce for the Finkel review into the future security of the national electricity market, and previously worked as a lawyer in major law firms and government specialising in utility regulation and competition and consumer law. He has a Bachelor of Laws (hons) and a Master of Laws and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley Executive Leadership Program. Mr Owens is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy, a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Institute of Managers and Leaders.

Strategic Statement 

The Utilities Commission seeks to protect the long-term interests of consumers of services provided by regulated industries with respect to price, reliability and quality. The Commission will seek to ensure consumer requirements are met by enhancing the economic efficiency of regulated industries through promoting competition, fair and efficient market conduct and effective independent regulation.

For more information, download the 2018 Strategic Statement of the Utilities Commission of the Northern Territory.