27 September 2023

Comments invited on utility licences

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The Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) is calling for feedback on a consultation paper proposing minor updates to current utility licences.

The ICRC said the updates would remove provisions related to technical regulations from utility licences that were now covered under the Utilities (Technical Regulation) Act 2014 (UTR Act).

It said this would reduce regulatory duplication and reporting burden on licensed utilities.

“The update will also improve the clarity of the licence conditions,” the ICRC said.

“The update will ensure that licence conditions are accurate, current and reflect the Commission’s legislative objectives,” it said.

The ICRC said that in 2014, provisions relating to technical regulation were removed from the Utilities Act and the UTR Act was created.

“As a result, the Commission is no longer responsible for monitoring the utilities’ technical compliance as these functions are now undertaken by the Utilities Technical Regulator (UTR),” it said.

“Following this change in the regulatory framework, and the subsequent development of technical codes and reporting requirements by the UTR, some licence conditions and reporting requirements are no longer necessary or require amendment to reduce unnecessary duplication and reporting burden on the licensed utilities.”

The ICRC said the updates would clarify ambiguous clauses and ensure that the intent of clauses was clear.

“The Commission is not conducting a wholesale licence review at this time or making substantive changes to licences,” it said.

The closing date for submissions and feedback is 1 December and the ICRC’s 71-page consultation paper, including information on how to have a say, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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