Service quality regulationSQ3BEstablish systems of sanctions for non-adherence of operators to service norms and regulations

Regulators can initiate administrative infringement proceedings against operators under terms set out in legislation.

Reasons can include if information has not been reported, operators have intentionally not provided accurate information, or if service standards do not match the minimum requirements. However, prior to applying any sanctions, they must be transparently outlined through mechanisms that specify a time sequence, with sanctions commonly being the last resort.

Predefined penalty systems allow for the imposition of adequate penalties on utilities for acts or omissions that infringe legal provisions in terms of the quality of service. Transparently sanction mechanisms also ensure the integrity of regulatory infringement actions.

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Objective: Facilitate adherence to service requirements, and continuous improvement in service provision
Service quality regulation
Target group:
Regulators, Service operators, Consumer associations
Australia and New Zealand
Nov 02, 2022

Expected outcomes

  • Service operators are prevented from further misconduct.
  • A regulator receives appropriate information on time.
  • Consumers are protected from further damage and are adequately reimbursed.


In Australia, states and territories have a well-conceived, modern, and very robust regulatory model that is able to all possible issues.

Regulation is essentially focused on consumers, but without disregarding the sustainability of operators.

Different regulators have successfully developed ways of supervising and controlling the quality of service, as seen in the scheme of compensation to consumers in case of failures to comply with agreed service standards (see below).

Level of service Amount payable for failures (Euros)
CityWest Southeast Yarra Valley Barwon Central Highlands
Unplanned interruptions not restored in a specific time 15 15 15 _ 15
More than five unplanned interruptions in any 12 months 15 15 15 30 15
Failure to notify a planned interruption _ _ 15 _ _
Planned interruptions during peak hours (5 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 5 11 p.m.) _ _ 15 _ _
Planned interruptions longer than advised _ _ 15 _ _
Planned interruptions longer than 5 hours _ _ 15 _ _
Repair of leaking service pipes within 5 days _ _ _ _ 15
More than three interruptions in 12 months 15 15 15 30 15
Interruptions not restored in a specified time 15 15 15 _ 15
Spills not contained in a specified time of notification 300 300 300 _ _
Spills not contained in a house in one hour of notification 300 300 300 _ _

Internal capacities needed and the role of partners

Setting sanctions require regulators to have certain judiciary and administrative skills. These could be sustained and supported by best practices from other regulators. Potential partners include national judiciary and disciplinary institutions along with development partners. Regulators’ staff must be trained on how to apply and manage disciplinary measures within their regulatory mandate.