Network Regulation

The Western Australian Government commenced a process to transfer the regulation of Western Power’s network to the national electricity regulatory framework through a package of Bills that was introduced in Parliament in June 2016

The Western Australian Government commenced a process to transfer the regulation of Western Power’s network to the national electricity regulatory framework through a package of Bills that was introduced in Parliament in June 2016 – the National Electricity (Western Australia) Bill 2016 and the Energy Legislation Amendment and Repeal Bill 2016. It was intended that these Bills would be passed by late November 2016 to allow Western Power to commence the regulatory process under the national regulatory framework from December 2016 and for the Australian Energy Regulator’s determination to apply from 1 July 2018.

The proposed reforms also included transfer of the regulatory functions of the Economic Regulation Authority to the Australian Energy Regulator for the regulation of gas pipelines in Western Australia under the national gas regulatory framework adopted in Western Australia in 2009.

The proposed timeframe to transfer regulation of Western Power to the national regulatory framework by the end 2016 was not achieved. As a result, Western Power will continue to be subject to the current State-based regulatory framework in accordance with the Electricity Networks Access Code 2004 (Access Code), including obligations to have its next access arrangement (known as AA4) approved by the Economic Regulation Authority.

The Access Code imposed requirements for Western Power’s next access arrangement review that created some practical timing difficulties. Amendments to the Access Code were therefore made to extend the deadline for Western Power to submit proposed revisions to its access arrangement.

The amendments were published in the Government Gazette on 23 December 2016.

The former Public Utilities Office (now Energy Policy WA) maintains an unofficial consolidated version of the Access Code that incorporates all amendments to date. 

Consultation on the amendments

A consultation paper was released to facilitate public consultation on the proposed amendments. 

In making final amendments to the Access Code, the then Minister for Energy decided not to make the proposed amendments that would have set an aspirational date for the Economic Regulation Authority’s regulatory determination on AA4 to commence and mandated a shorter regulatory period for AA4, ending in mid-2020.

Network Quality and Reliability of Supply Code (NQRS Code)

The Electricity Market Review released a position paper setting out proposed changes to the Network Quality and Reliability of Supply Code (NQRS Code) to facilitate regulation of Western Power under the national framework with respect to the continued jurisdictional regulation of service standards, network capacity planning criteria and power quality performance standards.  

Network Revenue and Price Regulation Arrangements

An information paper outlining the proposed transition of Western Power’s distribution and transmission network to the revenue and price regulation arrangements under Chapters 6 and 6A of the National Electricity Rules was released on 23 June 2016.  

A position paper setting out the design for the Transmission Network Outlook (a local equivalent of the National Transmission Network Development Plan) to provide independent and credible information on existing and future network capability and congestion in the South West Interconnected System was released for stakeholder comment on 23 June 2016. Submissions closed 15 July 2016. 

Page reviewed 30 October 2019