Distributors' obligations

Distributors must comply with all their industry obligations as set out in the Code. Below is a selection of obligations that a distributor has under the Code with our guidelines to enable distributors to implement best practice.

Distributors are also subject to information disclosure requirements and default or customised price-quality regulation by the Commerce Commission.

Utilities Disputes

Distributors are required to provide clear and prominent information about Utilities Disputes:

  • on their website
  • when responding to queries from consumers
  • in outbound communications directed to consumers about electricity services and bills.

See the following guidelines.

Communicating price/tariff structure changes

We encourage distributors to apply our guidelines on how to communicate price changes to consumers and the media to improve transparency around electricity charges.

Certain distributors are required to consult with each trader on their network(s) in respect of proposed changes to the distributor’s tariff structures that may materially affect one or more traders or consumers, as set out in Part 12A of the Code. The following consultation guidelines are designed to facilitate meaningful and effective engagement between distributors and traders during the early stages of the tariff structure development process.

Connection and electrical connection

The responsibilities of network owners, reconciliation participants and metering equipment providers on the connection of a network supply point (NSP) and installation control point (ICP) are set out in Parts 10 and 11 of the Code.

The following guidelines provide an operational view of the processes for connecting and electrically connecting NSPs and ICPs.

Distributed generation

The connection of distributed generation to distributors’ networks is set out in Part 6 of the Code. It mandates the application and approval process between the prospective distributed generator and connected distributor. See the following guidelines and information papers.

Embedded networks

An embedded or secondary network is an electricity distribution network that is owned by someone other than the local network owner. Embedded networks are typically used in commercial buildings, apartment blocks, shopping malls and airports.

The reconciliation of embedded networks must meet the requirements in the Code to ensure energy purchases and line charges are allocated equitably to participants. See the following guidelines for the criteria.

Loss factors

Distributors are required by the Code (clause 7(1)(e) of Schedule 11.1) to assign every installation control point a loss category code and associated loss factors and to populate this information in the Electricity registry.

See our guidelines to understand the calculation methodology and processes surrounding distribution loss factors.

Distributor agreements

Distributor agreements provide the contractual basis for the relationship between distributors and retailers. Part 12A of the Code requires certain aspects of distributor agreements to be standardised to promote competition and efficiency.

We have model distributor agreements (for both interposed and conveyance distribution arrangements) to encourage distributors and retailers to adopt more standardised distributor agreements. See the following guidelines and example agreements.

Complying with Part 3 of the Act and Part 6A of the Code

Obligations, including corporate separation and arm's-length rules and information disclosure obligations, apply when a distributor (or a person involved in a distributor) is involved in certain generation and retailing. To find out if these obligations apply to you, read our Guidelines on Part 3 of the Act and Part 6A of the Code

The following forms are prescribed by the Authority for making information disclosures required under Part 6A.

Information disclosure obligations to the Commerce Commission

Distributors are subject to information disclosure requirements and, unless they are exempt, default or customised price-quality regulation by the Commerce Commission.

View the customised price-quality regulation fact sheet

Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010

The rules for all industry participants.

Industry guidelines

Electricity sector legislation is complex and technical. See our guidance on industry‑specific best practice.