Utilities Regulatory Framework

The Commission's Responsibilities | Other regulatory agencies | Industry Codes | Technical Codes | Access to services and customer rights

The Utilities Act 2000 (Utilities Act) provides a framework under which the Commission regulates certain aspects of the provision of utility services in the ACT. To provide a utility service in the Territory, a utility must be licensed under the Utilities Act or be the subject of an exemption. Utility services include:

The Commission is responsible for the licensing process and monitoring the compliance of licensees with their legislative and licence obligations. The obligations for licensees originate from a number of sources including:

The Utilities Act imposes obligations on licensees associated with operation of networks and licence conditions including compliance with local and national legislation.

Note: The Commission no longer licenses retail energy providers, these utility services are regulated by the Australian Energy Retailer. More information is available on the AER’s website.

The Commission's Responsibilities

The Commission is responsible for administering the licensing framework. The Commission’s responsibilities include:

Other regulatory agencies

Technical regulation is provided by the technical regulator under the Utilities (Technical Regulation) Act 2014. Customer complaints and disputes relating to licensed utilities and authorised energy retailers are handled by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal under Part 13 of the Utilities Act.

Industry Codes

Part 4 of the Utilities Act allows the Commission to make industry codes dealing with matters such as:

Current industry codes administered by the Commission are available at:

Technical Codes

The technical regulator makes technical codes under Part 3 of the Utilities (Technical Regulation) Act 2014. Technical regulation is concerned with the operation of utility services and the protection and maintenance of their networks. Technical codes may be made for the following purposes:

Access to services and customer rights

Part 6 of the Utilities Act outlines the nature of the relationship between customers of electricity connection services, water and sewerage connection services and water and sewerage services. Part 6 sets out obligations in relation to:

The Consumer Protection Code outlines the basic rights of customers and consumers and utilities with respect to access to, and provision of, utility services. The Code also deals with the general conduct of utilities (and their agents) in the delivery of utility services.

Part 12 of the Utilities Act deals with complaints about utilities and the process for pursuing them through the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT). The ACAT also deals with cases of hardship. Further information can be found  on ACAT’s website at: