On 31 August 2020 the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) received a cost pass through application from Endeavour Energy seeking to recover costs the network incurred due to the 2019-20 bushfires in New South Wales.
The application outlines that:
- Bushfires impacted 44 per cent of Endeavour Energy’s network area, causing significant damage to parts of the network and interrupting supply to over 55,000 customers.
- Endeavour Energy’s emergency restoration and response to the bushfires resulted in an increase in costs for the network.
- The bushfires constitute a natural disaster event under the cost pass through provisions of the National Electricity Rules (NER) and Endeavour Energy's 2019-2024 final revenue determination.
- To recover these costs Endeavour Energy proposes a pass through amount of approximately $31.1 million that would approximately increase the average bill of their residential customers by $17 and $30 for small businesses over 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2024. Endeavour Energy customers are in the Greater West, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, the Illawarra and the South Coast.
Under the NER the AER is required to assess cost pass through applications in relation to natural disaster events. A cost pass through allows network businesses to recover its efficient costs, not accounted for in its current revenue determination, associated with natural disasters such as bushfires.
Network customers ultimately pay for energy infrastructure that needs to be restored and rebuilt after a bushfire and the AER’s role is to carefully assess how businesses propose their spending. In making this assessment, the AER uses the principle that consumers should pay no more than necessary for safe and reliable energy.
Invitation for submissions
We invite energy consumers and other interested parties to make submissions on Endeavour Energy's 2019-20 bushfires pass through application by close of business Monday 5 October 2020.
Submissions should be emailed Attention: Sebastian Roberts, General Manager, Transmission and Gas at AERInquiry@aer.gov.au.
Alternatively, written submissions can be sent to:
Melbourne VIC 3001
We will take into account submissions in deciding whether or not to grant Endeavour Energy's application.
We prefer that all submissions be publicly available to facilitate an informed and transparent consultative process. We will treat submissions as public documents unless otherwise requested. All non-confidential submissions will be placed on the AER's website. For further information regarding the AER's use and disclosure of information provided to it, see the ACCC/AER Information Policy.
We request parties wishing to submit confidential information:
- clearly identify the information that is the subject of the confidentiality claim
- provide a non-confidential version of the submission in a form suitable for publication.