AusNet Services seeks customers’ views on network plans

12 February 2019

AusNet has published Delivering Better Outcomes for Customers”, a Draft Regulatory Proposal setting out its plans for the delivery of electricity distribution services for the period 2021 to 2025. Feedback on the Draft Proposal is sought by 31 March 2019.

Releasing this consultation document well in advance of when a Final Regulatory Proposal is lodged for formal assessment with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) provides a genuine opportunity for customers and other stakeholders to shape AusNet’ plans.

Before developing its plans, AusNet conducted customer engagement and research in order to increase its understanding of customers and their preferences.

“We have set out to undertake meaningful engagement and research with our customers on our plans. These plans reflect what customers value and where we can improve. We want to hear more from our customers and other stakeholders as part of this consultation process”, says Nino Ficca, Managing Director of AusNet.

AusNet is participating in a trial and has reached preliminary agreement on parts of its proposed services and expenditure directly with a Customer Forum, comprising highly-skilled, qualified individuals appointed to formally represent the perspectives of its customers. The trial is being conducted under the ‘NewReg’ approach to electricity network regulation by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), Energy Consumers Australia and Energy Networks Australia.

The Customer Forum, led by ex-Consumer Affairs Minister for Victoria, Tony Robinson, is engaging with AusNet to enable its plans to deliver the services that its customers most value.

“The Customer Forum acknowledges AusNet’ genuine commitment to better understand and respond to the needs of its customers. We hope that our input into the EDPR process will ensure AusNet’ customers are better served and that their expectations are more closely aligned to plans for the network” said Tony Robinson, Chairman of the Customer Forum.

The Customer Forum has prepared a report on its findings, the process so far and its input to the Draft Proposal, which is also published today (refer Customer Forum Interim Engagement Report).

In the conversations to date, customers are calling for:

  • More affordable electricity – prices remain a key concern.
  • Reliable supply with limited outages.
  • Support to connect solar and to export to the grid.
  • More responsive customer service.

Key components of our Draft Proposal include:

  • The network component of customer bills will fall on 1 January 2021 by an average $38 and will increase in line with inflation for the next four years.
  • We are making changes to improve our customers’ experience in 2019 and 2020. The Draft Proposal builds on these initiatives.
  • Where efficient, our plans include network upgrades to accommodate increased uptake of solar.
About AusNet

AusNet is Victoria's largest energy delivery service, owning and operating approximately $11 billion of regulated electricity and gas distribution and transmission assets that connect into more than 1.4 million Victorian homes and businesses. Through its Mondo business, the company provides a range of contracted infrastructure, asset intelligence and energy services. AusNet is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: AST).