Direction Issued

The Utilities Commission has become aware that the Electricity Industry Performance (EIP) Code, and previously the Electricity Standards of Service Code, contains a number of anomalies. The known anomalies are isolated to Schedule 2 (Generation Services Performance Indicators) and Schedule 7 (Definitions and Interpretation).

Section 1.6 of the EIP Code provides that the Commission may issue a direction to an electricity entity regarding any matter related to the EIP Code. Furthermore, an electricity entity must comply with any direction (notified in writing) by the Commission to the electricity entity from time to time.
Accordingly, the Commission directs that any annual reporting against the EIP code is done in accordance with the direction below until a variation to the code is made or advised otherwise by the Commission.

Approved Targets for Power and Water Corporation (Networks) 2019-20 to 2023-24

Under clause 3 of the Electricity Industry Performance Code (EIP), the Commission has approved new performance targets for Power and Water Corporation’s (PWC) network business for their next determination, from 2019-20 to 2023-24.

On 25 October 2017, the Electricity Standards of Service Code was formerly updated and merged with the Guarantee Service Level Code to form a new EIP Code.   As per the ESS Code, the EIP Code requires network licence holders (i.e. PWC) to submit for approval performance targets for their regulatory determinations. However, the EIP Code changed the definition for urban feeders, resulting in changes to the list of feeders classified as urban and rural short feeders. Thus the current targets are not directly comparable to the new targets.

Additionally, the new EIP Code does not require separate reporting on feeders used as transmission lines.  Therefore, transmission lines will now be absorbed into distribution feeder reporting.

The Target Methodology

PWC is required to propose targets based on System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIFI) performance standards. SAIDI is an index showing the length of time customers are without power and SAIFI is an index showing the frequency of power interruptions to customer’s power.

For both performance indicators, the lower the better.

Table 1 sets out the approved performance targets.

Table 1: Approved Performance Targets

Feeder Category ​​Measure
​Commission Approved Target
(2019-2024)
CBD SAIDI 4.0
SAIFI 0.1
Urban SAIDI 140
SAIFI 2.0
Rural Short SAIDI 190
SAIFI 3.0
Rural Long SAIDI 1500
SAIFI 19.0

The Utilities Commission of the Northern Territory (the Commission) approved the 2017 Electricity Industry Performance Code (Standards of Service and Guaranteed Service Levels) (EIP code).  The EIP Code replaces the Electricity Standards of Service Code and the Guaranteed Service Level Code.

The EIP Code and associated Feeder Guideline commenced on 25 October 2017. 

The new EIP code follows extensive consultation with industry participants and stakeholders in the Territory’s electricity supply industry. The EIP Code will continue to apply to electricity entities operating in the regulated network (excluding Independent Power Producers) and sets out:

  • guaranteed service levels performance indicators and payment levels
  • generation service performance indicators for reporting purposes
  • network service performance indicators (network services) for reporting and target setting purposes
  • retail service performance indicators for reporting purpose. Retail service performance indicators will measure retail performance for customers taking (or likely to take less than) 160 megawatt hours of electricity during the reporting period. Hardship indicators will measure the treatment of residential customers.

The Commission has published a Statement of Reasons setting out the Commission’s decision. 

Background

Section 24 (1) of the Utilities Commission Act provides the powers for the Commission to make codes or rules relating to the conduct or operations of a regulated industry or licensed entities. Additionally, the Utilities Commission Regulation 2B sets out the authorisation to make codes about standards of service and guaranteed service levels.

Based on this regulation, in 2012 the Commission issued two codes, the Electricity Standards of Service Code (ESS) and the Guaranteed Service Level Code (GSL). Since early 2017 the Commission has been undertaking a review of these codes.

Changes from the ESS and GSL codes

The major changes from the current ESS and GSL codes to the EIP code are:

  1. a. combining the two codes

  2. b. simplifying language and ensuing consistency with other Commission Codes

  3. c. changing the method for the setting of targets for network entities (i.e. for Power and Water Corporation).  The process and requirements are now more flexible and focused on customer requirements but more demanding in the level of detail required to be presented to the Commission

  4. d. bringing forward the requirement for generators and retailers to annually report to the Commission from 1 November to 31 August

  5. e. inserting a requirement for network entities to report on GSL performance and payments

  6. f. increasing flexibility for network and retailer entities in the way they credit customers when making a GSL payment

  7. g. inserting a requirement to undertake 3 yearly audits on performance indicators

  8. h. updating network entities’ exemptions to match the AER definitions

  9. i. updating the feeder classification to match national reporting requirements

  10. j. removing the transmission reporting requirements.  Now all network assets are classified as distribution assets for reporting purposes, which is consistent with the AER’s treatment of assets for Power and Water’s pricing determination

  11. k. with regards to GSL payments removing the distinction between urban and rural customers, resulting in improved  (minimum) performance standards for rural customers

  12. l. for the next determination period (2019-20 onwards) increasing current GSL payments by CPI. Plus, the EIP code ensures CPI increases for each year thereafter

  13. m. increasing retail reporting requirements and directly linking to national reporting requirements.

Consultation

The new EIP code follows extensive consultation with industry participants and stakeholders in the Territory’s electricity supply industry. In March 2017 the Commission published a Request for Submission on Guaranteed Service Level Code and Electricity Standards of Service Code and then in July 2017 the Commission published a Proposed Code: Request of submission on the Guaranteed Service Level Code and Electricity Standards of Service Code