Electricity network 5 year plan

We are currently preparing our electricity network plan for the 2019/20 – 2023/24 years. This detailed plan will explain how we intend to operate and maintain the electricity network to meet the future needs of our customers. This five-year proposed plan will be submitted to the Australian Energy Regulator (the Regulator) for review in January 2018.

As part of preparing our five year plan we are seeking input from our customers.

The diagram below summarises the regulatory review timeline and our program of customer and stakeholder engagement.

Electricity network 5 year plan

What is in our five year plan?

We develop our five year plan based on an estimate of the lowest sustainable cost of managing an electricity distribution business in the ACT. Such an estimate needs to take account of expected growth in the demand for services; all applicable regulations; quality, reliability and security of supply; and the safety of the system.

As part of our planning process we consider:

  • The expectations and long term interests of our customers;
  • How best to operate and maintain a reliable network cost-effectively;
  • The replacement and growth requirements of the network; 
  • Cost reflective network prices; and 
  • How we deliver services to our customers.

The Regulator reviews our plan and conducts its own analysis to determine whether the proposed cost of providing electricity distribution services is prudent and efficient. 

The Regulator considers the following factors when making its determination on efficient costs. 

Operating expenditure – how efficiently we operate and maintain the electricity network; taking into account the levels of service, reliability and safety we provide. 

Capital costs – how we plan to invest for expansion of the network to service new developments and replacement of assets within the existing network as they reach the end of their useful lives, including costs of funds and depreciation. 

Tariff structure – how we group customers based on common characteristics (for example, residential customers are distinct from commercial customers), and how we refine our tariffs to take into account new technology such as smart metering.

Forecast consumption and demand – How consumers use the network, including the total quantity of electricity transported over the network every year, and peak demand, which is the highest quantity of electricity being transported at a single point in time. Demand is a critical determinant of the level of ActewAGL Distribution’s investment in the network.

Framework and Approach

The Framework & Approach is the first step in the regulatory review. During the F&A process, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) decides which services it will regulate (service classification), and how it controls the prices and/or revenues for these services (control mechanisms). The F&A also reveals the AER’s initial positions on the broad nature of the regulatory arrangements including incentive schemes, transmission assets and depreciation of regulatory assets among others.

As part of this consultation, the AER published a preliminary position F&A on 10 March 2017.

We provided our submission to the AER preliminary F&A on 24 April 2017.

The AER will publish its final F&A on 31 July 2017.

How can you learn more?

As part of preparing our plan we have published two documents to provide information to our customers.

In December 2016 we released an Issues Paper which provides customers with information on the types of issues we expect to explore as we prepare our five-year plan. We received feedback from a number of customer stakeholder groups, including members of our Energy Consumer Reference Council based on this Issues Paper. 

In July 2017 we released a Discussion paper which builds on the Issues Paper and outlines the key areas we need to consider as part of planning and maintaining the electricity network.  It provides examples of some of the projects we are planning in the future. 

This Discussion Paper poses a number of questions that we are seeking particular feedback from our customers on.

As part of providing information to our customers and seeking feedback we have also developed two case-studies; one on operational expenditure and the importance of reliability and on technology and investing in the network.

In 2015 and 2016 we undertook a review of electricity network tariffs as part of preparing our first Tariff Structure Statement. This review included a number of customer consultation activities. As part of the electricity network plan for 2019/20 – 2023/24, a second Tariff Structure Statement will be developed.

Seeking customer feedback

We are gathering feedback from our customers in a number of ways:

A PowerPanel survey will be conducted in July.  

Our Energy Consumer Reference Council will continue to provide input through their regular program of work. 

Customers are welcome to provide their feedback directly by email to consumerfeedback@actewagl.com.au . Email responses are required bv Friday 18 August 2017.