Consultation now open on Essential Energy’s cost pass through applications

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has received two cost pass through applications from Essential Energy. The applications seek to recover costs of damage to the network as a result of the 2019-20 New South Wales bushfires, and costs to implement cyber and physical security updates to comply with new licence condition requirements.

Under the National Electricity Rules, the AER is required to assess cost pass through applications in relation to natural disaster and regulatory change events. A cost pass through allows a network business to recover costs not accounted for in its current revenue determination. 

Network customers ultimately pay for energy infrastructure that needs to be restored after a bushfire or for cyber security upgrades to comply with changed licence conditions. It is the AER’s role to carefully assess how businesses propose their spending to make sure consumers pay no more than necessary for safe and reliable energy.

Essential Energy estimate the additional proposed spending of $67.0 million will result in bill increases of $24 for households and $91 for small businesses, each year from July 2022 to June 2024. 

Essential Energy is the electricity distribution network service provider for customers in rural and regional NSW.

Invitation for submissions

We invite energy consumers and other interested parties to make submissions on Essential Energy's cost pass through applications by Tuesday, 2 November 2021.

Submissions should be emailed to:

Alternatively, you may mail submissions to:

Mr Sebastian Roberts
General Manager
Australian Energy Regulator
GPO Box 3131

Canberra, ACT, 2601

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.

We will take submissions into account when considering Essential Energy's application.

Issued date: 
19 October 2021
AER reference: 
AC 161/21
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