Electricity Licence - South Australia

Service summary

Under the Electricity Act 1996, a licence is required for operations in the electricity supply industry. These operations include: generation, transmission, distribution, retail and system control operations. Certain licence exemptions exist under the relevant Regulations.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

Key criteria include:

  • That the applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence and has the ability to operate a viable business; and
  • in the case of a licence authorising the operation of an electricity transmission or distribution network, the network or system has the necessary capacity for transmitting or distributing electricity safely;
  • in the case of a licence authorising the generation of electricity ??? the generating plant (or proposed generating plant) will generate electricity of the appropriate quality for the relevant transmission or distribution network.

The Commission must also have regard to the general factors specified in Part 2 of the Essential Services Commission Act 2002.

In deciding whether an applicant is a suitable person to hold an electricity licence, ESCOSA may consider the following:

  • the applicant???s previous commercial dealings and the standard of honesty and integrity shown in those dealings;
  • resources available to the applicant ??? financial, technical and human resources;
  • whether the officers and major shareholders (where applicable) of the applicant have shown, in their past commercial and other dealings, honesty and integrity.


Determined on a case-by-case basis.


Application Fee: $1000
Annual Licence Fee: Determined based on the licence granted.

Contact the Commission for details.

Additional information

Applicants will be required to:

  • provide all of the information requested in the form;
  • detail their identity;
  • detail the nature/scope of operations for which a licence is sought;
  • provide sufficient information to enable ESCOSA to assess their suitability;
  • satisfy ESCOSA that the applicant can meet relevant licence conditions; and
  • pay the fee.

Applicants must show they have the technical capacity to comply with licence conditions.

Licence applicants must also demonstrate their financial capacity to ESCOSA. In general, ESCOSA will be satisfied with the financial capacity of an applicant for an electricity retail licence, if the applicant can demonstrate that it either:

  • has a long term credit rating of BBB or greater with Standard and Poor???s or Moodys; or
  • the applicant is registered as a Market Participant by AEMO; or
  • has operated as a licensee and held a retail licence in another National Electricity Market jurisdiction for at least 2 years.

Administering agency

Essential Services Commission of South Australia

Act(s) name

Electricity Act 1996 (South Australia)

Essential Services Commission Act 2002 (South Australia)

Regulation(s) name

Electricity (General) Regulations 1997 (South Australia)

Contact details


Operating address:
Level 1, 151 Pirie Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Mailing address:
GPO Box 2605
Adelaide SA 5001

Toll Free:







http://www.escosa.sa.gov.au/ Opens in a new browser window

Supporting information


The information contained on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) web site, or via packages or other sources is intended for general guidance only.

To the full extent permitted by law, the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments make no representations or warranties (expressed or implied) in relation to the information, including its accuracy, currency or completeness.

The business information provided does not constitute professional or legal advice, nor is the use of any third party resource an endorsement of the information contained, the associated organisation, product or service. It is recommended that you obtain appropriate professional and /or independent legal advice to ensure that the material provided here is relevant to your particular circumstances.

To the full extent permitted by law the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments, their employees and agents do not accept any liability for any reason, including without limitation, liability in negligence, to any person for the general information which is provided herein, or in respect of anything, including the consequences of anything done, or not done, by any such person in whole or partial reliance upon the information.