The Northern Territory Government has approved the next stage in the reform of the Territory’s utilities market.

From July next year the Power and Water Corporation (PWC) will be restructured to separate its monopoly and competitive businesses into stand-alone government owned corporations with separate boards.

“A key aspect of the reform program is a restructure of PWC to make its operations more efficient and transparent and provide greater accountability for financial performance to its owners, Territory taxpayers,” Deputy Chief Minister David Tollner said.

The government’s reform program for the Territory’s utilities supply industry will address:

• concerns around the financial sustainability of PWC;
• the lack of competition in the Territory’s electricity supply market; and
• the reliance on Government to fund electricity supply infrastructure to ensure reliability of supply.

“The reforms will ensure future utilities tariffs are the minimum necessary to ensure reliable and efficient standards of service and the ongoing financial sustainability of new PWC entities,” Mr Tollner said.

He also said there will be initiatives to encourage competition at the retail end of the market and allow business and households to choose their electricity supplier. These include:

• introducing standard supply contracts which define the minimum terms and conditions and maximum tariffs, with customers free to negotiate separate contracts with suppliers if beneficial for them to do so; and
• making existing customer subsidies available to all electricity retailers, not just the Power and Water Corporation.

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