The Australian Energy Regulator today issued its draft decision for ActewAGL's ACT, Queanbeyan and Palerang gas distribution network for the period 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2015.
The ACT, Queanbeyan and Palerang gas distribution network provides gas to 112 000 customers.
The AER proposes to approve an average increase in network charges of 11.6 per cent as at 1 July 2010. As a result, gas prices for retail customers are expected to increase by about four per cent.
Network charges for retail customers over the following four years will increase on average by five per cent in real terms. This increase is largely explained by higher commercial debt costs because of the global financial crisis and higher operating expenditure for network maintenance.
"The AER has approved capital expenditure of $81.4 million over the next five years. This represents an increase of 28 per cent over the earlier access arrangement period, even though the AER did not approve ActewAGL’s proposed capital expenditure for the Hoskinstown to Fyshwick loop expansion," AER chairman Steve Edwell said. "The security of gas supply in Canberra has been an issue in recent winters but ActewAGL had not demonstrated that the $134 million project was justified on the basis of a cost benefit analysis."
In making its draft decision, the AER took into account advice from independent experts. These documents will be available on the AER's website.
ActewAGL can provide a revised access arrangement proposal to the AER by 6 January 2010. Submissions on the AER's draft decision and any revised access arrangement proposal can be made by 12 February 2010. The AER is expecting to make its final decision in early April 2010.