The Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability (DEUS) was established on 1 January 2004. (1) The new Department replaced the Department of Energy and Utilities. The agency was responsible for a range of legislation regulating electricity and gas supply and reticulation, electricity safety, water management, and that relating to particular county councils, power stations and water supply bodies. (2)
By 30 June 2004 the agency was structured into four main branches - Energy and Policy Markets; Energy Systems; Water Systems and Strategic Corporate Development. The both the corporatised State Water and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) were responsible to the Director-General. (3) However on 5 May 2004 the administration of the Sustainable Energy Development Act, 1995 (Act No.96, 1995) was transferred to the Minister for Energy and Utilities (4) and from 1 July 2004 the Sustainable Energy Development Authority was abolished and its functions were transferred to DEUS.
At the end of June 2004 the functions of the agency were described as follows:
Achieving electricity and gas network safety and reliability;
Administering the electricity contestable works accreditation scheme
Developing and promoting demand management
Improving the country towns water supply and sewerage program
Providing essential support for drought affected communities throughout NSW;
Developing improved and streamlined best practice and management guidelines for local water utilities;
Encouraging and expanding integrated water cycle management practices;
Effectively participating in significant reforms to the structure of the national electricity market;
Implementing the Government energy management policy;
Addressing the future electricity needs of New South Wales;
Improving the greenhouse performance of New South Wales electricity retailers;
Supporting solar energy research;
Consolidating responsibility for energy assistance and concession schemes;
Supporting the requirements of the Minister’s Office and the broader New South Wales Government. (5)
On 17 June 2004 the State Emergency Management Committee appointed DEUS to be the lead agency to establish the Energy and Utility Services Functional Area Committee. The agency was commissioned to prepare a plan that would:
provide energy and utility support to a Combat Agency and/or other areas or organistions involved in an emergency
co-ordinate the establishment of electricity, water, sewerage, gas and petroleum supplies temporarily or permanently following an emergency;
co-ordinate advice to the State Emergency Operations Controller from Utility and Energy providers in accordance with relevant continuity plans. (6)
On 29 August 2005, the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources was abolished and its branches transferred to different agencies, with the group of staff, who in the opinion of the Director-General of the Premier’s Department were principally involved in the administration of the Electricity Demand Management Project, transferred to the Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability. (7)
The Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability was abolished on 27 April 2007 (8), with staff involved in energy or water efficiency funding and renewable energy policy (other than staff principally involved in the administration of Part 8A of the Electricity Supply Act 1995) (9), transferred to the Department of Environment and Climate Change, and staff involved in the accredited service providers program added to the Office of Fair Trading, Department of Commerce. (10) All other branches of the Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability were added to the Department of Water and Energy. (11)
(1) NSW Government Gazette, 12 December 2003, p.11208.
(2) Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability, Annual report for the year ended 30 June 2004, p.2.
(3) Ibid., p.3.
(4) NSW Government Gazette, 5 May 2004, p.2393.
(5) Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability, Annual report for the year ended 30 June 2004, pp.4-7.
(6) Ibid., pp.8-9.
(7) Public Sector Employment and Management (Planning and Natural Resources) Order 2005; NSW Government Gazette No.108, 26 August 2005, p.6385.
(8) NSW Government Gazette No.56, Special Supplement, 20 April 2007, p.2435.
(9) NSW Government Gazette No.57, Special Supplement, 26 April 2007, p.2441.
(10) NSW Government Gazette No.47, Special Supplement, 2 April 2007, p.2105.
(11) ibid., p.2106.