​On 21 December 2005, the Commission released the Electricity Standards of Service Code (ESS Code). The ESS Code was made pursuant to the Utilities Commission Act, and in accordance with the Commission’s powers to do anything necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with or incidental to the performance of the Commission’s functions under:

  • section 92 (1) of the Electricity Reform Act, which requires the Commission to make provisions imposing minimum standards of service and safety for non-contestable customers;
  • section 10 of the Electricity Networks (Third Party Access) Act; and
  • section 6 of the Act.

For more information, see Standards of Service.

In accordance with the introduction of full retail contestability, the last tranche of non-contestable customers became contestable on 1 April 2010. This meant that the Commission’s functions in relation to electricity standards of service under section 92 (1) of the Electricity Reform Act have become redundant, and the existing ESS Code was partially ineffective.

In response, the Utilities Commission Regulations were amended to provide the Commission with authority to set standards of service in the electricity supply industry. Section 24 of the Utilities Commission Act and Regulation 2B of the Utilities Commission Regulations authorises the Commission to make a code relating to standards of service by licensed entities in the electricity supply industry.

As a result, the Commission decided to revoke the existing ESS Code and develop a new ESS Code in response to recent regulatory changes and the Priority Works Program. For more information, see Priority Works Program.

The Commission made the new ESS Code on 30 November 2012 to come into effect 1 December 2012. For more information see Newsroom. The new ESS Code followed extensive consultation with industry participants and stakeholders in the electricity supply industry:

  • In May 2012, the Commission released its first draft of the proposed ESS Code.(see Draft ESS Code and Consultation Paper) and received the submissions from Power and Water Corporation and ERM Retail (see Submissions).
  • On 5 October 2012, the Commission released its second draft of the proposed ESS Code with an accompanying Draft Statement of Reasons (see Newsroom). The Commission received submissions from PWC and NTMEU (see Submissions).