The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) today published its determination on Powercor’s cost pass through application associated with a new regulatory obligation to replace or reinforce 34,650 wood poles between 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2026.
Our decision is to approve Powercor’s proposed pass through amount of $112.8 million (2020–21). This will allow Powercor to replace or reinforce 11,060 wood poles over and above what we have already approved as part of Powercor’s 2021–26 revenue determination. To arrive at our decision, we have consulted closely with Powercor and the safety regulator, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV).
We estimate that the approved cost pass through amount will add around $3 (nominal) per year to the average residential customer’s bills from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2026.
The additional wood pole replacements and reinforcements will improve safety and help to reduce the risk of bushfires arising from pole failures.
ESV will monitor Powercor’s replacement and reinforcement program to ensure that it complies with the minimum volumes set out in the regulatory obligation.