Frequently Asked Questions
About the Commission
As the competition commission and a utilities regulator for the ACT, we use a wide range of rule-making, investigatory and enforcement powers to fulfill our statutory objectives.
Our powers and objectives are given to us by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission Act 1997 and the Utilities Act 2000.
We are an independent body and we receive limited government funding for costs not recoverable from the companies we regulate – we are primarily funded entirely by the companies we regulate. However, we are accountable to the Chief Ministers and Treasury Directorate and, through them, the Legislative Assembly.
What we do?
We are an independent body that regulates some utility services in the ACT and advisor on competitive neutrality matters.
We have been given a wide range of rule-making, investigatory, enforcement and inquiry powers in order to meet our statutory objectives. In meeting these, we are also obliged to have regard to the principles set out in the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission Act 1997.
As the ACT’s independent regulator, we determine the maximum price that can be charged for certain retail energy and water and waste water services in the ACT.
How do we determine prices?
We make our price determinations after a period of consultation and review. Typically, this process involves:
- Being issued with a terms of reference by the Government
- Advertising the price review
- Publishing an issues paper that:
- explains what we are reviewing
- outlines our proposed approach to the review
- discusses the key issues we will consider, and
- invites all interested parties to make a written submission to the review.
- Engaging consultants to provide expert analysis and advice where necessary.
- Publishing all the submissions and consultant reports we receive on our website, subject to confidentiality.
- Considering all the submissions and reports we receive and conducting our own research and analysis.
- Making a draft price determination, and publishing a draft report that:
- explains our draft price determination – including how and why we made our draft decisions, and their implications for the regulated business and its customers
- we may also make draft recommendations on the matters we were requested to provide advice on or any matter we are required by legislation to consider
- invites all interested parties to make a submission in response to the draft report.
- We may also hold a public hearing where interested parties can appear in front of the Commission to present their views
- Considering all the submissions we receive in response to the draft report
- Making a final determination, and publishing a final report that explains our final determination – including how and why we reached our final decisions and their implications for the regulated business and its customers. Our price determination is also tabled in the Legislative Assembly.
The Commission may also hold community consultations or any other forms of consultation to increase awareness of the issues and develop an understanding in the community, for example increasing awareness of the issues of regulating the community owned asset that is the ACT regulated water business.
Our approach is based on public consultation and engagement with all stakeholders.