Overview

The Essential Services Commission is reviewing the Electricity Distribution Code, which sets out the requirements for the distribution of electricity in Victoria.

The commission is consulting on proposed changes to the Electricity Distribution Code to strengthen the protections for customers relating to planned outages and the guaranteed service level scheme for customers who receive poor service from their distributor.

The review will update the state’s electricity rules on how distribution businesses manage the network and ensure the Electricity Distribution Code reflects the changing energy landscape and evolving industry.

Consultation on the Electricity Distribution Code review customer service standards draft decision closed on 2 July 2020.

How does this affect you?

The code covers protections for customers such as:

  • when customers can be compensated for low reliability, supply restoration, missed appointments and delayed new connections, and
  • when customers must be notified about planned supply outages, including cancelled outages.

What have we done so far?

The commission released its draft decision on the changes to the technical standards in the Electricity Distribution Code on 3 December 2019 and consulted on them until 20 January 2019. The commission released its final decision on the code's technical standards on 3 April 2020.

The commission released its draft decision on the customer service standards of the Electricity Distribution Code and consulted on the proposed reforms until 2 July 2020.

Have your say

We are seeking feedback on the customer service standards draft decision.

You can have your say on this page by:

  • asking a question or providing feedback on our draft decision in our virtual public forum where our team will reply, or
  • making a submission about our draft decision through the general comments form or uploading a formal submission document.

We held a public webinar on 25 June 2020 to provide an overview of the key pieces of feedback we've received so far. Links to the slides and recording of this webinar can be found on this page.

Key facts from the draft decision on customer service standards

These include:

  • modernising the communication channels distributors can use to notify customers about planned outages
  • bolstering protections and information for life support customers about planned outages
  • ensuring retailers collect customer contact details and provide it to distributors in a timely way
  • giving distributors flexibility to interrupt supply at short notice while incorporating strong customer protections around explicit informed consent and record keeping
  • ensuring that customers are notified when planned outages are cancelled in most circumstances
  • improving information for customers and the Victorian community about planned and unplanned interruptions
  • modernising and updating our guaranteed service level scheme to ensure that it meets community expectations.

The proposed package of rules will:

  • enhance the provision of relevant and timely information to customers
  • ensure that life support customers are afforded higher levels of protection where appropriate
  • facilitate better information exchange between retailers, distributors and ultimately with customers.

The proposed rules will also modernise our guaranteed service level scheme to:

  • ensure it remains fit for purpose and captures customers who receive the poorest service from their distributors
  • update the value of payments, noting that the values for low reliability and supply restoration payments will increase by approximately seven per cent using our approach
  • ensure that customers receive timely payments

Electricity Distribution Code review customer service standards draft decision webinar

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Collection notice

As part of making a submission, we need you to provide personal information, such as your name, email address, and postcode. We will use this information to send you updates about this review.

It is our policy to publish all submissions to reviews on the Essential Services Commission website. You can request anonymity by selecting the relevant tickbox.

When we publish a submission, we also include some details about the submitter (your name, not your address). We treat all submissions as public information unless the submitter has asked us to.

We may also collect personal information when you email us with a query. Aside from any exceptions in relevant privacy legislation, we will not use or disclose the information you provide for any purpose other than to progress and respond to your query.

You have the right to access personal information we hold about you. We may ask you to pay a small fee for this. You can also request that we correct your personal information in our records at no charge.

Read more information about our submissions policy.

About us

The Essential Services Commission is an independent regulator that promotes the long-term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. The commission regulates certain Victorian energy businesses (including electricity generators, transmission companies, distributors and retailers) through a combination of legislation, licences, and codes and guidelines. View more on how we regulate.

Provide general comments

General comments on the draft decision

You have 255 characters left.

You will receive confirmation of your submission.


The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

Collection notice

As part of making a submission, we need you to provide personal information, such as your name, email address, and postcode. We will use this information to send you updates about this review.

It is our policy to publish all submissions to reviews on the Essential Services Commission website. You can request anonymity by selecting the relevant tickbox.

When we publish a submission, we also include some details about the submitter (your name, not your address). We treat all submissions as public information unless the submitter has asked us to.

We may also collect personal information when you email us with a query. Aside from any exceptions in relevant privacy legislation, we will not use or disclose the information you provide for any purpose other than to progress and respond to your query.

You have the right to access personal information we hold about you. We may ask you to pay a small fee for this. You can also request that we correct your personal information in our records at no charge.

Read more information about our submissions policy.

About us

The Essential Services Commission is an independent regulator that promotes the long-term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. The commission regulates certain Victorian energy businesses (including electricity generators, transmission companies, distributors and retailers) through a combination of legislation, licences, and codes and guidelines. View more on how we regulate.