AusNet Services’ electricity distribution network carries electricity to over 700,000 customers over 80,000 square kilometres in eastern Victoria. The network covers Melbourne’s outer northern and eastern suburbs and extends to the NSW border. The network is large and complex, consisting of around 50,000 kilometres of powerlines, more than 380,000 powerpoles, control systems and meters.
This predominantly rural network consists of unique and diverse terrain, from Melbourne’s populated eastern urban fringe, through steep, heavily treed mountainous regions and harsh coastal environments.
Maintaining a network of this scale requires considerable expertise and investment.
The diagram below shows how the electricity distribution network forms part of the energy supply chain.
Click on the image to enlarge
Electricity customers pay a distribution network charge for the cost of building, operating and maintaining the electricity distribution network. This charge accounts for around 29% of a typical household electricity bill in AusNet Services’ distribution area.
Breakdown of a typical residential customer’s bill, 2018
Every five years, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) approves the electricity distribution network charges, including:
Ausnet Services’ current five-year regulatory period for electricity distribution runs from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2020. The approved revenue for this period is explained in the following documents:
Current tariffs are provided in the TSS and Annual Tariff Report here:
Victorian distributors have collaborated to start the conversation about network pricing in preparation for 2021 to 2025 pricing submissions due in July 2019.
The conversation started on 1 November 2017 in a joint forum on household electricity pricing. The Victorian Electricity Future Forum was the first in a series of joint engagements where the Victorian distributors will examine network pricing options for residents, and small to medium businesses.
Over the next 12 to 18 months the distributors will seek input and review feedback about pricing principles, the different pricing options available, complementary measures to support pricing, and any relevant issues that should be considered for the five year period up to 2025.
The outcomes of the first forum presented challenges and opportunities when it comes to household electricity pricing and its modernisation, and reforms to support the transition. Stakeholders also indicated five key objectives for distributors to consider in decision making, including: simplicity; efficient and reflective; fairness, consistency and equity; affordability; and recognition of two-way energy flows.
Read or view outcomes of the forum below:
More information about the outcomes of the forum and upcoming events will be released in 2018.
AusNet Services has started the process of preparing for the 2021-25 electricity distribution price review. This will set the revenue for the period 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2025.
This will be a period of transition for the industry and for our customers. Important challenges facing us are:
AusNet Services is focused on meeting these challenges and adapting to change while meeting the needs of our customers, including by innovating, controlling costs and responding to their preferences.
AusNet Services will submit a revenue proposal for the 2021-25 period to the AER in July 2019. As the first step, we have begun a comprehensive engagement program to understand our customers’ concerns and preferences and to incorporate these in our expenditure plans for the 2021-25 period. This will involve interviews and forums with many of our customers and other stakeholders.
As part of our customer engagement, we will be the first Australian utility business to trial a new process that places customers at the heart of developing our expenditure plans. This new process involves the establishment of a Customer Forum that is capable of representing the perspective of our customers. We will seek to negotiate our 2021-25 regulatory proposal with the Customer Forum, before it is published for public consultation later in 2018 and then formally submitted to the AER in July 2019. We have strong support from consumer advocates and the AER for this trial. The AER will also play an important role in guiding and providing input to this new process.
Beyond enhancing the way we listen to our customers, this is an exciting and innovative approach that aims to ensure that AusNet Services’ plans for the 2021-25 period genuinely reflect the preferences and perspectives of our customers.
We will provide an opportunity for all of our customers and stakeholders to have a say on our plans for the 2021-25 period by releasing a draft regulatory proposal in late 2018.
Expand the below section to view the timeline of key milestones.
We will be providing many opportunities to join the conversation on our 2021-25 electricity distribution price review.
If you have a question please email us at: 2021-25EDPR@ausnetservices.com.au