In accordance with the Order, distributors provided their respective fire start reports for 2016-17 prior to 30 September 2017 in accordance with the specified reporting templates. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) requested Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) to conduct and provide a validation of a fire start reports.
In January 2018, all Victorian distributors made submissions to the AER in respect of the ESV’s November 2017 initial validation findings. On 15 February 2018, ESV provided revised validation reports for each distributor.
Variance between distributors’ reported fire start details and the validation findings by ESV are not significant. The main reason behind variance is differences in the Fire Danger Rating (FDR) classification published by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) compared to that issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
When designing the reporting templates, the AER and ESV accepted the distributors’ proposal to report based on CFA data because:
- BoM FDR information was not readily available at the time in the form of live data.
- CFA FDR information was available to all distributors.
- There was an expectation that CFA FDR would be same as that advised by the BoM.
Since the BoM FDR information is now available to the distributors, we consider that this information should be the basis of calculating the IRU results as specified by the f factor Order 2016.
As a consequence, the AER acknowledges that:
- distributors provided their fire start reports for 2016-17 in accordance with the AER specified reporting template; and
- distributors were only advised by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning about the availability of a live web portal to provide the BoM FDR information after the fire start reports were finalized and audited.
We will modify the reporting templates accordingly for the next reporting period.