Version History Industry Code
The Electricity Distribution Network Code replaced the former Electricity Industry Code on 1 July 2015.
Prior to being replaced, the Electricity Industry Code (the Code) had been amended multiple times. This is a brief history of changes introduced with each version of the Code since 2007.
Version 17 of the Code introduced a new requirement for retailers to notify small customers when their fixed benefit periods are due to expire.
On 17 October 2013, we received a request to amend the Code from the Minister for Energy and Water Supply to require retailers to:
- remind customers that their fixed-term benefits are about to expire
- obtain explicit informed consent from customers to apply new benefits following the expiry of a fixed benefit period.
On 22 November 2013, we released an interim consultation notice and received five submissions in response. On 20 March 2014, we published our draft decision and received five submissions in response.
On 19 June 2014 we published our final decision which proposed amendments to the Code to require retailers to notify customers when their fixed benefit periods are due to expire. The final decision did not support requiring retailers to obtain explicit informed consent before they can apply new benefits.
The Minister approved version 17 of the Code on 16 July 2014, and it came into effect on 25 July 2014.
Version 16 of the Code removes distributor Minimum Service Standard (MSS) requirements.
On 3 April 2014, we received a letter from the Minister for Energy and Water Supply advising that the Government had decided to implement distributor MSS through distribution authorities and existing provisions of the Electricity Act 1994 (the Electricity Act), as recommended by the Independent Review Panel on network costs.
In order to avoid duplication, the Minister proposed removing MSS provisions from the Code. As this matter had already been the subject of public consultation through the 30 year electricity strategy process and our MSS and guaranteed service level review, we considered the amendments were uncontroversial and could be made without consultation, as allowed under section 120PA of the Electricity Act.
Version 16 of the Code was gazetted on 23 May 2014 and took effect on and from 1 July 2014.
Version 15 of the Code introduces new requirements for retailers to include solar feed-in tariff information on price fact sheets and for the QCA to publish information on solar feed-in tariff offers on its price comparator.
As allowed under Section 120PA of the Electricity Act 1994, we did not consult on these amendments, because we were of the view that they were unlikely to be controversial or to materially detriment anyone’s interests as similar requirements are already in place under the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF).
Version 15 of the Code was approved by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply on 22 April 2014, and came into effect from 26 May 2014.
Version 14 of the Code allows for distributors to use a Meter Switch Seal – where the main switch is turned off and a removable sticker is placed over the switch – as a means of disconnecting customers in multi-occupancy dwellings, provided they compensate retailers for unbilled electricity.
In addition, a number of miscellaneous amendments were made to correct minor errors, and remove sections of the Code that were redundant.
Version 14 of the Code was approved by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply on 18 December 2013, and came into effect on 6 January 2014.
Version 13 of the Code removes the requirement for distributors to prepare Network Management Plans (NMP) and Summer Preparedness Plans (SPP).
On 20 December 2012, the Minister for Energy and Water Supply requested that we consider amending the Code to reduce potential duplication with the National Electricity Rules. From 1 January 2013, the National Electricity Rules require distributors to prepare a Distribution Annual Planning Report (DAPR) each year, which is similar in nature to the NMP.
As allowed under Section 120PA of the Electricity Act 1994, we did not consult on these amendments, primarily because we were of the view that they were unlikely to be controversial or to materially detriment anyone’s interests given the extensive consultation that the Australian Energy Market Commission undertook when developing the DAPR requirements.
Version 13 of the Code was approved by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply on 26 February 2013.
Version 12 of the Code includes numerous changes that bring it into line with the requirements of the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF).
As allowed under Section 120PA of the Electricity Act 1994, we did not consult on these amendments, primarily because we were of the view that they were urgent, and also because they were unlikely to be controversial or to materially detriment anyone’s interests relative to arrangements under the NECF, which have been consulted on widely.
Version 12 of the Code was approved by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply on 28 June 2012.
Version 11 of the Code implements the 2011 recommendations of the Electricity Network Capital Program Review to flat-line Energex’s Minimum Service Standards at the 2011-12 levels.
As allowed under Section 120PA of the Electricity Act 1994, we did not consult on these amendments because we were of the view that they were urgent, uncontroversial and do not materially detriment anyone’s interests.
Version 11 of the Code was approved by the Minister on 21 May 2012 and came into effect on 15 June 2012.
Version 10 of the Code includes a number of changes to remove any areas of overlap or conflict between the Code and the Australian Consumer Law. It also includes a number of other minor amendments to reflect changes to organisation names and to update references to policies.
Version 10 of the Code was approved by the Minister and came into effect from 26 August 2011.
Version 9 of the Code includes a number of minor administrative changes to the Code.
As allowed under Section 120PA of the Electricity Act 1994, we did not consult on these amendments because we were of the view that they were urgent and/or uncontroversial and/or do not materially detriment anyone’s interests.
Version 9 of the Code was approved by the Minister and came into effect from 1 July 2011.
In November 2010, we released new Guidelines for Credit Support arrangements to apply between Queensland's electricity retailers and distributors. The guidelines are provided for in the Electricity Act 1994 rather than in the Code.
In Version 8 of the Code, the obsolete credit support arrangements which were contained in clause 12 of the Standard Coordination Agreement (Annexure C to the Code) have been removed. The amendments involved:
- the deletion of clause 12 "Retailer's performance security", which contains the soon to be redundant credit support arrangements;
- the deletion of clause 13.2 "Distributor may terminate", which provides for a distributor to terminate the coordination agreement with a retailer where a retailer fails to provide an undertaking as required by clause 12; and
- the deletion of the definition of "undertaking", a term which is defined under clause 12.
Version 8 of the Code was approved by the Minister and came into effect from 18 February 2011.
We released our Final Decision on Amendments to version 7 of Code requiring prior notice for price changes. Our Final Decision proposed that, in relation to small market customers, a retailer be required to provide either:
- individual written communication including the date of the price change, details of the new prices and details of how the increase will specifically affect the customer
- a newspaper advertisement, provided that:
- customers are notified of the date of an impending price change in a bill message prior to the change, stating when (date) and where (e.g. website and press notification) further details on the rates or variations in rates will be available
- no less than 10 business days prior to the date of the price change, publish the new rates in a newspaper/s circulating throughout Queensland
- no less than 10 business days prior to the date of the price change, publish the new rates on the retailer's website
- full details of how the change will specifically affect the customer appear on the next bill received by the customer.
The Minister approved all the amendments proposed by the QCA with the exception of proposed new clause 4.12.8 which noted the minimum information that would constitute the "full details" of a price change to be provided to residential customers.
Version 7 of the Code came into effect from 31 July 2010 and included amendments as approved by the Minister.
On 22 February 2010, we released our Final Decision on the Review of Code Reporting Requirements. The Code amendments resulting from that review are contained in Version 6 of the Code, which came into effect from 1 July 2010, and incorporated those amendments from version 5 which were also scheduled to come into effect from that date.
The additional amendments contained in Version 6 of the Code require:
- market and non-market customer disconnection and complaints data be reported and monitored on a quarterly basis rather than annually and the data be reported to the Authority within one month of the end of the quarter
- additional reporting obligations related to financial hardship
- distributors to report categorised distributor-initiated disconnections, and total disconnections, quarterly
- the current restriction on a retailer requesting a special meter reading is removed, subject to a retail entity not transferring a customer on the basis of a special meter reading unless certain conditions are met
On 24 April 2009, we released our Final Decision on Minimum Service Standards (MSS) and Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) arrangements to apply from 1 July 2010. On 22 October 2009, we released a Final Decision on our Review of GSL Claims procedures. Code amendments from both these Final Decisions were incorporated into Version 5 of the Code, which was to come into effect from 1 July 2010. The following amendments were included in Version 5 of the Code:
- set the minimum service standards (MSS), as contained in Schedule 1 of the Code, which will apply to the electricity distributors from the next regulatory period commencing on 1 July 2010;
- increased the current guaranteed service level (GSL) payment amounts by 30% to maintain their real deterrent value by accounting for the effects of inflation. The cap on individuals’ annual entitlements to GSL payments was also increased by 30%;
- amended the process that governs the lodgement and assessment of customer claims for GSL payments, contained in clauses 2.5.11 to 2.5.14 of the Code; and
- amended the requirements covering GSL payments by distributors for interruption frequency to allow payments under clause 2.5.9(a)(ii) to be made at the end of each financial year.
On 12 May 2008, we were requested by the Minister for Mines and Energy to review the metrology provisions of the Code to identify any changes that may be required to facilitate the introduction of the National Metrology Procedure developed by the NEMMCO. The review recommended amendments to the Code, and Annexure B, the standard retail contract.
Version 4 of the Code came into effect with its gazettal on 4 August 2008.
We became responsible for administering the Code from 1 July 2007.
Version 3 of the Code was current at that time.