The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has published its final decision on the second tranche of contingent project applications lodged by Victorian distribution businesses, AusNet Services and Powercor. Earlier applications for the first tranche were approved in August 2017.
The applications sought to amend the businesses’ approved revenue determination to include funding to comply with bushfire safety regulations. These regulations require Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCLs) to be installed in a number of locations determined by the Victorian Government to limit the danger of fallen powerlines causing bushfires.
The AER is required under the National Electricity Rules to assess these applications with regard to the expenditure of an efficient and prudent network business.
The AER's decision departs from the businesses’ proposed revenue amendments by allocating reduced funding for High Voltage customer works following changes to the Victorian Electricity Distribution Code which transferred customer equipment compliance obligations from distributors to HV customers.
Our decision will facilitate prudent and efficient implementation of the Bushfire Royal Commission recommendations which have the objective of minimising the risks of bushfires being started by electricity assets and increase customer safety. This additional protection to customers from the installation of these assets is expected to add $10, or 0.5 per cent, to residential customer electricity bills in 2019. In 2020, it is expected to add $12 or 0.6 per cent to a Powercor bill, and $7 or 0.4 per cent to an AusNet Services bill.