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Guaranteed Service Level payment

 

The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCoSA) has reviewed the Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) Scheme. It decided to simplify the scheme to reduce costs to customers and to ensure it better targeted customers who have the poorest underlying reliability experience.

GSL duration payments for extended power interruptions will apply when a customer experiences more than 20 hours of interruptions. A flat payment will be made for a customer who experiences more than nine outages a year.

To be eligible you need to be residing at the impacted premises on 30 June. The GSL amount will be automatically credited to your retailer and reflected in a subsequent electricity account.

You can find the ESCoSA fact sheet on GSLs here: ESCoSA_GSL Scheme Fact Sheet


If you have experienced very long or frequent power outages, you may be eligible for a Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payment.

Payments are automatically sent to your retail electricity account if you are eligible, you don't need to apply.


Eligibility

You may be eligible for one of the following payments:


Financial Year
(1 July - 30 June)

Threshold 
Number of outages > 9
Payment $100*


*payments include GST and are subject to change.

  Threshold One Threshold Two Threshold Three
Duration (hours) Total annual duration of the power outage is more than 20 and up to and including 30 Total annual duration of the power outage is more than 30 and up to and including 60 Total annual duration of the power outage is more than 60 
Payment

$100*

$150* $300*


*payments include GST and are subject to change.


Exclusions

You will not be eligible if the outage was:

  • caused by you or by a fault on your electrical installation
  • shorter than one minute (for ‘frequency’ payments - more on short outages below)
  • planned work as part of our maintenance programme with advanced notice provided
  • caused by electricity transmission and generation failures
  • the result of an emergency such as a bushfire
  • if we are unable to safely access our equipment.

If there are multiple power outages related to the same fault event (for example the power goes off and on again through a storm), it counts as one outage when calculating ‘frequency’ payments.

Short outages

Outages lasting just a few seconds is the network protecting itself during a temporary fault (such as twigs brushing against the line due to wind, or from brief animal contact), much like a safety switch at home except the power comes back on after a few seconds if the faults is no longer detected.

Outages of 30 to 60 seconds are successful examples of the 'self-healing' network in operation. Currently around 70 high voltage feeders on our network, each have smart devices which can automatically detect a fault location, isolate that fault, then restore power from an alternative path. Only customers who are closest to the physical fault will experience an extended power outage and all other customers will have an outage of less than one minute.

While both these types of short outages are inconvenient and mean we have to reset clocks and timers etc, they are actually examples of how technology and innovation are improving electricity supply reliability. Outages which once would have been several hours in duration, are now often less than a minute!


Emergency situations and no access

Sometimes we are unable to undertake repairs because we cannot gain safe access to our equipment. These are called force majeure events.

When a force majeure event occurs, we deduct the time we were unable to safely access our equipment from the overall duration of the outage to calculate the Guaranteed Service Level payment if any. In some cases, a payment may still apply but it may not be as much as you expect based on the total time without power.


Claiming a GSL payment

You don't need to apply to receive a GSL payment. If you are eligible for a payment, it is credited to your retailer electricity account annually. 

Due to changes in the GSL payment scheme, you can only register details for outages experienced before 30 June 2020.

If you wish to log your outage details with us, you can do so through this register.

 


When are payments made?

In accordance with the Electricity Distribution Code, payments are made once annually after 30 June via a credit to a Retail electricity account.

Need more information? Refer to the ESCoSA GSL fact sheet or contact 13 12 61