Phase 5 - 2020-25 Revised Regulatory Proposal submitted

We submitted our 2020-25 Revised Proposal for managing the South Australian electricity distribution network with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) on 10 December 2019.

The Revised Proposal follows an extensive engagement program with customers and stakeholders over the past three years. The Proposal will deliver an average reduction of $62 for residential customers and $276 for small-to-medium sized businesses in 2020-21. In fact our distribution network charges in 2020/21 will become the lowest they have been for a decade.

Figure 1: Key outcomes for customers

Throughout conversations with customers and stakeholders there has been a growing recognition that equity for customers is not just a matter of price. Equity also means not passing on today’s costs to future generations and doing something for customers who get a substantially worse service than others in South Australia. Our stakeholders have also made it clear that it is not equitable for us to “kick the can down the road” by deferring expenditure on an ageing network today, in order to push additional costs onto future years and generations of customers.

As a result, our Revised Proposal includes some important targeted enhancements to reliability for some of our worst-performing feeders, as well as plans to reduce the risks posed by our ageing assets.

Figure 2: Customers' key priorities and our Revised Proposal

In response to the AER’s Draft Decision on our Original Proposal, lodged back in January 2019, we have provided additional evidence to support programs in areas such as replacement of ageing assets, investment in information technology and some much needed property improvements at various sites across the business.

You can read more about our Revised Proposal in our Overview .

We submitted our 2020-25 Revised Proposal for managing the South Australian electricity distribution network with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) on 10 December 2019.

The Revised Proposal follows an extensive engagement program with customers and stakeholders over the past three years. The Proposal will deliver an average reduction of $62 for residential customers and $276 for small-to-medium sized businesses in 2020-21. In fact our distribution network charges in 2020/21 will become the lowest they have been for a decade.

Figure 1: Key outcomes for customers

Throughout conversations with customers and stakeholders there has been a growing recognition that equity for customers is not just a matter of price. Equity also means not passing on today’s costs to future generations and doing something for customers who get a substantially worse service than others in South Australia. Our stakeholders have also made it clear that it is not equitable for us to “kick the can down the road” by deferring expenditure on an ageing network today, in order to push additional costs onto future years and generations of customers.

As a result, our Revised Proposal includes some important targeted enhancements to reliability for some of our worst-performing feeders, as well as plans to reduce the risks posed by our ageing assets.

Figure 2: Customers' key priorities and our Revised Proposal

In response to the AER’s Draft Decision on our Original Proposal, lodged back in January 2019, we have provided additional evidence to support programs in areas such as replacement of ageing assets, investment in information technology and some much needed property improvements at various sites across the business.

You can read more about our Revised Proposal in our Overview .

  • Talking Engagement

    about 1 month ago
    Talkingpower2

    Talking Engagement

    Our engagement program over the past three years has been extensive and has covered a wide variety of topics and has seen us meet people from all across the State.

    It has been our honour and privilege to be given an opportunity to listen to so many of you throughout our broad community. So, we say thank you so much for taking the time to post a comment or complete a survey online, provide written feedback, attend a workshop or meeting, or stop by and say hi at a pop-up community booth.

    We hope you continue to...

    Talking Engagement

    Our engagement program over the past three years has been extensive and has covered a wide variety of topics and has seen us meet people from all across the State.

    It has been our honour and privilege to be given an opportunity to listen to so many of you throughout our broad community. So, we say thank you so much for taking the time to post a comment or complete a survey online, provide written feedback, attend a workshop or meeting, or stop by and say hi at a pop-up community booth.

    We hope you continue to engage with us – we truly believe that it is only by working together that we can ensure the best outcomes for our customers.

  • Hardening the network

    about 2 months ago
    Hardeningpic
    Extreme weather in 2016/17 resulted in significant network outages and loss of supply to customers for extended periods of time. Customers, particularly in regional areas, are often supplied via overhead bare-wire conductor making them more likely to be affected by storm activity. Customers located in heavily vegetated areas are also more likely to be affected by strong winds and storms.

    In our 2020-25 Revised Regulatory Proposal, we are proposing targeted programs to reduce power outages and improve reliability caused by severe weather events. One way of doing this is to finalise our ‘Hardening the Network’ program - which we developed...

    Extreme weather in 2016/17 resulted in significant network outages and loss of supply to customers for extended periods of time. Customers, particularly in regional areas, are often supplied via overhead bare-wire conductor making them more likely to be affected by storm activity. Customers located in heavily vegetated areas are also more likely to be affected by strong winds and storms.

    In our 2020-25 Revised Regulatory Proposal, we are proposing targeted programs to reduce power outages and improve reliability caused by severe weather events. One way of doing this is to finalise our ‘Hardening the Network’ program - which we developed in response to customer feedback. This program has been ongoing since 2015. Once (if) completed, this program will reduce the length of outages by two hours each year for around 50,000 customers in targeted regional areas across SA.

    In its Draft Decision, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) did not support our proposed ‘hardening’ program. Following the AER’s Draft Decision, SA Power Networks consulted further with our Customer Consultative Panel (SAPN CCP) and key stakeholders, and received strong feedback from several stakeholders that the Hardening the Network program should be re-submitted to address the ongoing reliability concerns of pockets of customers (especially business customers), who are impacted by weather events.

    We'd like to hear from you - comment below to show your support of this program.
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  • Improving reliability for our worst-served customers - map your experience!

    about 2 months ago
    Tpreliability
    Our 178,000km network of poles and wires is one of the most reliable in Australia, but for 16,000 customers mainly on the edge of the grid, they go days without power each year! By making small, targeted improvements to our network we could keep the power on more often for these customers.

    In its Draft Decision, the AER did not allow our proposed program to significantly improve reliability in targeted regional areas – a program we developed in response to customer feedback. We are now re-submitting this program as part of our Revised Proposal, but we need your support to...
    Our 178,000km network of poles and wires is one of the most reliable in Australia, but for 16,000 customers mainly on the edge of the grid, they go days without power each year! By making small, targeted improvements to our network we could keep the power on more often for these customers.

    In its Draft Decision, the AER did not allow our proposed program to significantly improve reliability in targeted regional areas – a program we developed in response to customer feedback. We are now re-submitting this program as part of our Revised Proposal, but we need your support to encourage the AER to reconsider its position on these works.

    We recently brought Adnyamathanha elder, Terry Coulthard from the Iga Warta community in the northern Flinders Ranges, to speak to a group of stakeholders about why improved reliability is so important to him and others like him. Check out the short video then find your home or business on the interactive map, select a pin and rate your reliability experience.

  • Replacing and upgrading our ageing assets - tell us what you think!

    about 2 months ago
    Tpreliability3
    Our network of poles and wires is the oldest in Australia, built in the 1950s and 1970s. That’s up to 70 years ago! Not surprisingly, parts are now reaching the end of their working lives. To ensure we continue to safely supply reliable power to the 900,000 homes and business we service in SA, 38% of our proposed capital works program over 2020 – 2025 is dedicated to replacing and updating our ageing network assets.

    In its recent Draft Decision, the AER has proposed we spend 20% less in the next five years on replacing ageing assets than we did...

    Our network of poles and wires is the oldest in Australia, built in the 1950s and 1970s. That’s up to 70 years ago! Not surprisingly, parts are now reaching the end of their working lives. To ensure we continue to safely supply reliable power to the 900,000 homes and business we service in SA, 38% of our proposed capital works program over 2020 – 2025 is dedicated to replacing and updating our ageing network assets.

    In its recent Draft Decision, the AER has proposed we spend 20% less in the next five years on replacing ageing assets than we did from 2015-2020.

    We don’t believe this is sustainable for a network of the scale and age of South Australia’s and it will make it more difficult to maintain reliability and safety. It also will push increasing costs on to customers in the future. Let us know what you think today



  • AER announces Draft Decision on our 2020-25 Regulatory Proposal

    2 months ago

    The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) response accepted a number of our plans, including work to ensure the network can support the integration of more solar, batteries and electric vehicles to 2025.

    However, we are concerned the AER did not fully recognise the very specific challenges of managing South Australia’s ageing distribution network – the oldest in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

    If the AER draft decision stands we will spend 20% less in the next five years on replacing aging assets than we invested in 2015-2020. We don’t believe that this is sustainable for a network of the scale and...

    The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) response accepted a number of our plans, including work to ensure the network can support the integration of more solar, batteries and electric vehicles to 2025.

    However, we are concerned the AER did not fully recognise the very specific challenges of managing South Australia’s ageing distribution network – the oldest in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

    If the AER draft decision stands we will spend 20% less in the next five years on replacing aging assets than we invested in 2015-2020. We don’t believe that this is sustainable for a network of the scale and age of South Australia’s and it will make it more difficult to maintain reliability and safety. It also will push increasing costs on to customers in the future.

    Had the AER accepted our proposal in full for a measured ongoing replacement of ageing assets, it would add about $3 per annum to the bill of a residential customer.

    We also are disappointed, as are some of our stakeholders, that the AER has not supported a plan to improve reliability of some of our worst-performing power lines mainly in regional locations including the Eyre Peninsula and Adelaide Hills.

    Our future plans were developed following extensive engagement with customers, stakeholders and the community who indicated they had three priorities – keeping prices down, maintaining safety and reliability and transitioning to the new energy future.

    We are in the process of reviewing the AER’s specific decisions in greater detail. We are also engaging further with our customer representatives and other stakeholders before submitting a revised proposal to the AER in December.

    You can read the full Draft Decision on the AER’s website.