AER signals networks delivering more for less

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has today confirmed energy networks are delivering customers better service for less cost.

In its 2020 Electricity Network Performance Report, released today, the AER said: “we observe that consumers are getting a more reliable supply of electricity and paying less for this supply than they have previously.”

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said while this recognition was welcome, there were critical emerging issues networks were facing to support the transforming energy system that required a forward-looking view by the AER.

“The AER has endorsed networks for delivering more reliability and lower prices for customers,” Mr Dillon said.

“However, the report is based on historical data and misses emerging issues around investibility. Complacency around investment in the system would be bad news for customers.

“Investment in our grid is required. Without transmission, there’s no transition and without smart investment in local grids we will see more households blocked from exporting their solar power.”

Mr Dillon said it was clear that recent AER decisions had effectively more than halved real regulatory returns to shareholders.

“Unrealistic inflation assumptions have also contributed to recent determinations that deliver, based on the AER’s own numbers, negative profit after tax.

“These are unsustainable outcomes which risk poor customer consequences due to a lack of strategic grid development in the years ahead.

“We look forward to working with the AER and customers to deliver a sustainable framework that ensures networks can continue to deliver the services customers want while keeping prices affordable.”