The Australian Energy Regulatory (AER) held a roundtable meeting with key stakeholders to discuss revised operating expenditure (opex) decisions for the NSW/ACT 2014-19 electricity distribution network revenue determinations. These decisions were remitted back to the AER by the Australian Competition Tribunal.
Participants at the roundtable included the AER Board, representatives from the NSW and ACT electricity distribution network service providers, consumer representatives (Energy Users Association of Australia, Energy Consumers Australia, and Public Interest Advocacy Centre) and members of the AER’s Consumer Challenge Panel.
In a recent speech, AER chair Paula Conboy discussed the need for the AER to engage with our key stakeholders in a less adversarial environment, especially for network revenue determination processes.
The purpose of this meeting was to discuss ways in which stakeholders can best work together during the revised opex decision-making process.
In particular, the AER sought views from participants on:
- what they see as the key issues for the opex remittal process, and
- the best means by which the AER can facilitate a robust, transparent and consultative process for considering these issues in remaking its decisions.
On 30 April 2015, the AER made final decisions on the 2014-19 network revenue determinations for the NSW and ACT electricity distributors. The NSW and ACT electricity distributors sought limited merits review of our operating expenditure decisions with the Australian Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) in May 2015. In February 2016, the Tribunal set aside our decision and directed us to remake our decision in accordance with the Tribunal’s reasons. The Federal Court later affirmed the Tribunal’s position on operating expenditure upon a judicial review in May 2017.