The Utilities Commission’s role in the NT

Commission’s Role

The Commission is responsible for the regulation of prices for certain monopoly services, licensing of regulated industry participants, and monitoring the performance of regulated operators. The Commission also investigates and helps to resolve complaints relating to the conduct of licensees, provides consumers and others with information, and provides advice to the Minister.

In performing these functions, the Commission has regard to the need to promote competitive and fair market conduct and to prevent the misuse of monopoly or market power, as well as to facilitate entry into the market and to promote economic efficiency. In addition, the Commission seeks to ensure that consumers benefit from competition and efficiency, and to protect their interests with regard to reliability and quality of services and supply. The Commission must also consider the need to maintain the financial viability of regulated industries and to ensure an appropriate rate of return on regulated infrastructure assets.

The Commission is a separate administrative unit established within the NT Treasury and Finance, but has specific statutory powers and undertakes its considerations independently from Treasury.

While the Commission was established initially to play a regulatory role in the Territory’s electricity supply market, its functions have been expanded to include a regulatory role in the water and sewerage services industries within a sole supplier model.

Related regulatory entities

The Commission undertakes its regulatory functions in the Territory’s regulated industries in conjunction with other regulatory entities, notably:

  • the ‘Regulatory Minister’, currently the Treasurer;
  • the Electricity Safety Regulator – part of NT Worksafe – who has responsibility under the Electricity Reform Act for monitoring and enforcing safety standards, and for establishing and enforcing safety-related standards for electrical equipment;
  • the Chief Health Officer – located in Territory Health Services – who has responsibility under the Water Supply and Sewerage Services Act for monitoring and enforcing certain standards with respect to the water and sewerage industries; and
  • the NT Ombudsman, who continues to have responsibility for investigating complaints from small electricity, water supply and sewerage services customers of the Power and Water Corporation.

For more information, see Links

Public Information

One of the functions of the Commission is to assist consumers and others with information and other services. This website provides the primary means for the Commission to make information available to the general public.

All statements, reports, guidelines and other documents published by the Commission, as well as submissions made to the Commission by interested parties, will be posted on this website. For more information, see Publications.

In making information available, the Utilities Commission has an obligation to preserve confidentiality of any information that could affect the competitive position of licensed entity or other person, or is commercially sensitive for some other reason. For more information on confidential information, see Consultations

Advisory Committees

The Commission may set up advisory committees to provide advice on specified aspects of its functions.

No advisory committees are currently constituted, however when this occurs details of any committee, including terms of reference, members and meeting minutes will be made available on this website.

Complaints and Disputes

One of the Commission’s functions is the investigation of complaints against licensed market participants. For more information, see Electricity Disputes and Water and Sewerage Disputes.

It is the Commission’s view that formal complaint mechanisms should only be used where informal methods of dispute resolution have failed. The Commission stands ready to assist any party with a complaint against a market participant on an informal basis.

With respect to access disputes between the network provider (currently Power and Water Corporation) and third parties, the Commission maintains a list of qualified arbitrators. However, the Commission has and intends to continue to use its ‘good offices’ and connection with market participants to facilitate access to infrastructure on reasonable terms. For more information, see Negotiation of Network Access.

Published by

Peter. A Butler

As a highly regarded senior compliance manager in the NT. I’ve achieved my goals and met expectations with separating compliance from operations to legal within a Government-owned corporation; which was highly commended by the utility commission. I pride myself on stakeholder liaison within the commission and Government circles on portraying company policies and regulation within the NT. I’ve completed my four-year contract with T-Gen and now wish to focus and utilise my skills at a senior level within the regulatory arena of power generation, ether Government-owned or private sector. I've started NT Power Generation Regulatory Compliance, to offer my services to generation, poles and wire, retail, system control, gas and new entry renewable energy companies entering the NT market. My services will also be offered to Government departments and the UC in way of 42 years of experience in utilities. I'm looking forward to the future as the regulations change across Australia but especially the NT and being able to assist the transition of changes to be made.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: