Electricity laws and regulations

Electricity Act 1994

The main legislation governing Queensland's electricity industry is the Electricity Act 1994 and the Electricity Regulation 2006.

The Electricity Act and Regulation deal with:

  • regulating the electricity industry and electricity use, including licensing of electricity industry participants and monitoring of licence compliance
  • making and approving industry codes
  • approving electricity prices for standing contract customers in regional Queensland
  • assisting in settling disputes between electricity entities and between electricity entities and public entities
  • administrating electricity restrictions and electricity rationing procedures.

The legislation is supported by the Electricity Distribution Network Code, which sets out rules for electricity distributors and is administered by the Queensland Competition Authority, which is also responsible for administering some matters under the Electricity Act.

The Electricity Act also allows the owner, occupier or user of premises to become an on-supplier who can supply electricity to the occupants of the premises (the receivers). The legislation contains provisions that must be followed in the on-supply of electricity to receivers.

Examples of on-suppliers are shopping centre owners, caravan park owners, owners of blocks of flats and bodies corporate associated with blocks of residential or commercial units.

Electricity – National Scheme (Queensland) Act 1997

The Electricity – National Scheme (Queensland) Act 1997 governs Queensland's participation in the National Electricity Market (NEM) by applying the National Electricity Law in Queensland. This Act also applies the National Electricity Rules to the NEM in Queensland. The rules have the force of law and are made under the National Electricity Law. Copies of the rules and the law can be found on the Australian Energy Market Commission website.

Electrical Safety Act 2002

Electrical safety matters, including licensing of electrical workers and contractors, are dealt with under the:

The Electrical Safety Office administers this legislation.

Energy and Water Ombudsman Act 2006

The Energy and Water Ombudsman Act 2006 was integral to the introduction of full retail competition. The main purpose of this legislation is to give small energy consumers a timely, effective, independent and just way of referring disputes about matters involving energy entities, and having the disputes investigated and resolved.

See also the Energy and Water Ombudsman Regulation 2022 and the Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland website.