Merits review

In May 2015, Ausgrid applied to the Australian Competition Tribunal for merits review and the Federal Court for judicial review of the AER’s final 2014-19 distribution determination. The tribunal made its decision on 26 February 2016. It remitted the decisions back to the AER to be remade in accordance with its orders as to the value of imputation credits (gamma), return on debt and operating expenditure (opex).

Judicial review

In March 2016 the AER applied to the Federal Court for judicial review of the Australian Competition Tribunal decisions to set aside its revenue determination for Ausgrid.

In May 2017, the Full Federal Court handed down its decision on the AER's appeal of the Tribunal decision. The Court upheld the AER's appeal in respect of the Tribunal's construction of the rules regarding gamma.

The Court dismissed the AER's appeal over the Tribunal's ruling on return on debt and opex. The AER must therefore revisit its decision on these matters.

Update - Interim arrangements

In May 2016, the AER published an open letter to all stakeholders outlining the approach for the setting of the ACT and NSW electricity distributors' 1 July 2016 network tariffs due to the ongoing legal appeals process to determine the revenue that the ACT and NSW electricity distributors are allowed to earn from customers for the provision of electricity network services over the 2014–19 period. Following this, the AER entered into enforceable undertakings with the ACT and NSW electricity distributors to establish network tariffs for the 12 month period commencing on 1 July 2016.

As the appeals process is ongoing, the AER has established new interim arrangements through entering into new enforceable undertakings with the distributors to govern the setting of network tariffs to be applied from 1 July 2017. The AER has again published an open letter outlining the approach of formalising the ACT and NSW electricity distributors' 1 July 2017 network tariffs. The new enforceable undertakings are available on our website along with the relevant electricity distributor's 2017-18 pricing proposal.