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Review of Electricity Distribution Reliability Standards 2020

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We are reviewing the reliability standards in the operating licences of the state’s three electricity distributors – Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy (the distributors).

We have released a Draft Report which sets out recommended changes to the reliability standards to apply from 1 July 2024.

We found that changes to the current reliability standards are required to improve their consistency and complementarity with the national reliability incentives, and better reflect the values customers place on reliability. In addition, new standards are required to create stronger incentives for the distributors to continue to evolve and adopt new technologies to meet customers’ needs through cost-effective reliability solutions. Over time, these changes to the reliability standards would lead to lower costs for distributors and deliver bill savings to customers.

In particular, we are recommending the following changes:

  • Remove network overall reliability standards that are duplicated by national incentives for the distributors to maintain and improve reliability.
  • Update individual feeder standards and direct connection standards so the minimum level of reliability required from each feeder/direct connection better reflects its long-term efficient level of reliability.
  • Replace customer standards with guaranteed service levels (GSLs) and payments, and update these levels and payment amounts to better acknowledge the poorer reliability levels received by the worst-served customers on each network.
  • Introduce distributed energy resources (DER) reporting standards to complement national efforts to efficiently increase the distributors’ ability to host DER and allow greater levels of DER export to the network.
  • Introduce standalone power systems (SAPS) standards for distributor-led SAPS and amend NSW and national energy laws to ensure these SAPS customers receive the same customer protections as the distributors’ other residential and business customers.
  • Streamline the distributors’ reporting and auditing requirements to reduce their compliance and reporting costs.

You can provide feedback by making a submission by 25 January 2021.

For CBD Sydney feeders, we asked Ausgrid to model the long-term efficient levels of reliability and propose the minimum required levels of SAIDI and SAIFI that should apply. Ausgrid has provided additional information on its CBD feeders and proposed maintaining the current individual feeder standards. We are also seeking submissions on Ausgrid’s proposal for CBD feeders by 25 January 2021.

IPART will provide its final report on the standards to the NSW Government by April 2021.

The review team can be contacted by email.

Key contact
Ineke Ogilvy