Values of customer reliability

Date completed: 
16 September 2020
Date initiated: 
19 October 2018
Effective date: 
31 December 2019
General enquiries - Values of Customer Reliability
AER reference: 


On 18 December 2019 we released our final decision on the Values of Customer Reliability (VCR) review, setting out the VCR values for unplanned outages of up to 12 hours in duration (i.e. standard outages) for the National Electricity Market and the Northern Territory. This is the largest VCR study ever conducted in Australia with over 9 000 residential, small business and industrial energy customers completing the survey.

On 23 March 20 we published a draft model developed with ACIL Allen to estimate the costs of Widespread and Long Duration Outages (WALDO) for stakeholder consultation. As a result of this feedback we have decided to discontinue the WALDO model and methodology, but are considering avenues for future work, such as AER led research partnerships with universities. We have published our final conclusions setting out the reasons for our decision, consideration of issues raised, and possible next steps.


The AER conducted a review to determine the values different customers place on having a reliable electricity supply.

On 19 October 2018, we released our consultation paper on VCR. Following our public forums in Sydney and Melbourne in December 2018 we extended the submission period on our Consultation Paper until 20 December 2018.

On 18 September 2019, we released our draft decision on Values of Customer Reliability (VCR). The draft decision sets out our draft methodology for developing VCR values for the National Electricity Market and the Northern Territory. It builds on the methodology used by the Australian Energy Market Operator to estimate VCRs in their 2014 NEM-wide study for standard outages. The draft decision discusses our methodology for determining VCR values for standard outages up to 12 hours, widespread and long duration outages greater than 12 hours, and the annual adjustment mechanism. It also provides a summary of submissions we received in response to our Consultation and Consultation Update papers.

On 26 November 2019, we released our final methodology on Values of Customer Reliability (VCR). The final methodology sets out our approach for developing VCR values for the National Electricity Market and the Northern Territory. The final methodology is the result of an extensive consultation process that commenced in October 2018. In that process we engaged widely with governments, energy regulators, customer and industry representatives and the public, as well as expert consultants.

We established a Consultative Committee and Subcommittee that provided views to us on matters relating to VCR.

The VCR plays an important role in ensuring consumers pay no more than necessary for safe and reliable energy, helping energy businesses identify the right level of investment to deliver reliable energy services to customers.

The last review of VCR was undertaken in 2014 by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Our review updates the methodology AEMO employed to determine VCR to take account of changes in the National Electricity Market since 2014.