Victorian electricity distributors' fire start reports for the July 2020–June 2021 reporting period

F-factor fire start
Event date: 
30 September 2020
Release date: 
24 June 2022


The F-factor scheme is a Victorian Government initiative that provides financial incentives to Victorian electricity distribution businesses to minimise the number of fire starts within their networks in high fire danger zones and times.

If the number of fire starts rises, the networks are required to pay a penalty, and if it falls, distributors may receive an incentive payment.

The AER’s role is to give effect to the incentive payments/penalties by adjusting the distributors’ allowable revenue each year accordingly in accordance with the f-factor Order.

The AER received fire start reports from the distributors for the 2020–21 reporting period. These reports have been validated by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV).

The penalty or reward rates under this scheme range from around $1.48 million per fire start in high risk areas on code-red days to $300 in low risk areas on a low fire danger day. The scheme therefore provides very strong incentives in the form of rewards or penalties to networks.

For the 2020–21 reporting period, incentive payments vary from a $9,300 reward for CitiPower with a 100 per cent urban network, to $2.48 million for Powercor with a large rural network. Overall Victorian electricity distribution businesses have received 95 per cent more in total incentive payments under the F-factor scheme in 2020–21 compared to the previous year.

Based on ESV’s validation of the reports, the AER has determined the incentive payments to the distributors for the 2020–21 period in accordance with clause 9(4) of the F-factor scheme Order 2016. These payments take the form of adjustments to the distributors’ regulated revenues for regulatory year 2023–24.

Table 1: F-factor incentive payments/penalties 2016–2021 by distributor

Distributor 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19 2019–20 2020–21
AusNet Services $1,485,000 $316,200 $404,100 $303,000 $1,193,700
Powercor $4,639,200 $995,100 $3,745,200 $1,548,600 $2,479,800
United Energy $224,400 $5,100 $62,400 $105,900 $174,900
CitiPower $43,200 $36,300 $31,500 –$6,600 $9,300
Jemena $117,300 $112,800 $116,400 $49,500 $43,200
Total $6,509,100 $1,465,500 $4,359,600 $2,000,400 $3,900,900

The distributors' 2020–21 fire start reports and ESV's validation reports are provided below.