The code applies to distributors, retailers, and generators. It ensures licensed electricity distribution businesses connect and supply customers on Victoria’s electricity distribution networks in a safe, efficient and reliable way.
The code outlines obligations on electricity distributors, including in relation to the interruption of electricity supply, life support equipment, and customer compensation when service levels are not met. Distributors are also required to meet technical obligations to uphold the quality of supply, and the infrastructure needed to transport that supply.
The code also continues to place obligations on generators and exempt persons in relation to certain matters.
The remaking of the code of practice follows last year’s amendments to the Essential Services Commission Act 2001. The changes reflect its new legal status and makes the instrument consistent with the new enforcement framework. This means that many of the existing rules are now subject to the full suite of enforcement tools given to the commission last year.
Executive Director of Energy Sarah Sheppard says the new code does not change the substantive obligations that energy businesses must already fulfil but makes them clearer and fit-for-purpose.
“In transitioning to a new, streamlined electricity distribution code of practice, we will get rid of outdated guidelines and update electricity distribution licenses. This will remove duplication and inconsistencies, align important obligations with recent changes to the national regulatory framework, and provide clarity to industry of their obligations to consumers.” Ms Sheppard said.
The existing code will be replaced with a new Electricity Distribution Code of Practice, effective on 1 October 2022.
Benefits of the new Electricity Distribution Code of Practice
Consistent with the commission’s new enforcement framework.
Provides clarity on voltage standards to support the operation of the network for system security and reliability.
Updates electricity distribution licences to align with the new code.
Repeals outdated guidelines.
Consolidates obligations previously in various commission instruments, such as guidelines.
Removes duplication between obligations in the existing code and the National Energy Rules.