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Annual Report 2009-2010 Utilities Commission



Annual Report 2009-2010 Utilities Commission

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Tabled paper 1065


Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




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Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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27 September 2010 Advice to the Minister 3.117 The Commission provides independent advice to Government on matters such as utility pricing, access to infrastructure, service quality and security of supply. 3.118 Advice to the Minister can be provided: when the Minister refers a matter to the Commission for inquiry under s.31 of the Utilities Commission Act. Inquiries conducted under s.31 of the Act are public inquiries and the Commissions final report must be tabled in the Legislative Assembly; when the Minister requests advice from the Commission in accordance with section 6(1)(g) of the Utilities Commission Act. The Minister may include a requirement in the terms of reference that the reports setting out the Commissions findings and recommendations remain confidential to government; or the Commission is also empowered to provide advice to the Minister at its own initiative on the operation of the Electricity Reform Act. 3.119 The main focus of the Commissions work in 2009-10 was the Governments priority work program, composed of a number of reviews aimed at improving PWCs efficiency as well as standards and reliability of supply for customers. This priority work program involves eight reviews, conducted according to terms of reference from the Treasurer. Inquiries referred under section 31 of the Electricity Reform Act Review of Full Retail Contestability for Northern Territory Electricity Customers 3.120 The purpose of the review was to generate options for the implementation of Full Retail Contestability (FRC) in the Territory on 1 April 2010 and assess the merits of each. 3.121 The Commission released an Issues Paper in August 2009. The Issues Paper was directed at testing the assumed outcomes of a number of specified options and also identifying any further options. A Draft Report released in October 2009 detailed the Commissions consideration of the views expressed in the submissions received, and provided recommendations in respect of the options. 3.122 Six public submissions and one confidential submission were received in response to the Issues Paper and a further three submissions were received in response to the Draft Report. 3.123 The Commission delivered its Final Report to the Treasurer in December 2009. 3.124 In the Final Report, the Commission noted that there is a distinction to be made between full retail contestability and full retail competition. Full retail competition implies active participation by at least one other retailer in the retail electricity market. 3.125 Full retail contestability on the other hand, requires only the removal of legislative barriers such that PWC would lose its exclusive right and obligation to provide electricity supply. Although certain other obligations would need to attach to PWC to ensure that other retailers may obtain non-discriminatory access to the electricity network and non-discriminatory access to generation, if the prospect of significant competition is low, existing systems for customer transfer and market settlements may be appropriate to use until there is further market development. A program of additional reforms to support the development of competition could be developed and initiated after FRC is in place.

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