The F-factor scheme is a Victorian Government scheme 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 has a limited role to give effect to the incentive payments/penalties by adjusting the distributors’ allowable revenue each year accordingly in accordance with the F-factor Order. All other aspects of the scheme are set out by the Victorian government including the targets and incentive rates.
The AER received fire start reports from the distributors for the 2021–22 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 2021–22 reporting period, incentive payments vary from a $12,000 reward for CitiPower with a 100 per cent urban network, to $1.19 million for Powercor with a large rural network. Overall Victorian electricity distribution businesses have received 56 per cent less in total incentive payments under the F-factor scheme in 2021–22 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 2021–22 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 2024–25.
Table 1: F-factor incentive payments/penalties 2016–22 by distributor
|Reporting year||AusNet Services||CitiPower||Jemena||Powercor||United Energy||Total|
The distributors' 2021–22 fire start reports and ESV's validation reports are provided below.