Electricity Distribution Reliability Standards - 2020

In progress
Start Date
Dec 2018
End Date
Dec 2020

NSW’s distribution network businesses (Ausgrid, Endeavour and Essential Energy) are required to deliver a certain level of reliability to customers, as set out in their licence conditions

IPART has been asked by the NSW Government to recommend changes to these reliability standards that could deliver bill saving to customers.  The reliability standards were last updated in 2014, following a review of by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) in 2012.

We have also been asked to recommend any other measures that could imposed or implemented by distribution businesses within the current regulatory framework and are consistent with the National Electricity Objective.


The ACCC has found that over the past decade, higher reliability standards have driven significant additional investment in network infrastructure. These costs have been passed onto consumers through higher electricity prices.

For future investment, it is important to understand if the prices that customers are paying reflect the value that they place on experiencing fewer or shorter outages, or whether they would prefer a lower level of reliability and pay less. 


We will assess the cost of delivering different levels of reliability against the value that customers place on having a reliable network.

The value that customers place on reliability is currently being reviewed by the AER. It is due to publish values of customer reliability (VCRs) by 31 December 2019 and we will consider them in our economic assessment of reliability standards.

We will also consider the costs of delivering more or less reliability in different parts of NSW, taking into account new technologies that may offer more cost-effective solutions in certain areas where possible.

We will consider the impact on customer bills to any recommendations that we make. 

What Next

We have released an Issues Paper setting out our proposed approach to the review.  Submissions are due by 24 April 2020.  We will publish a draft report in September prior to providing our final report to the Minister in December 2020.


Key Contact
Brett Everett
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