Energy Consumers Australia considers that the long-term interests of consumers are served when current and future consumers pay no more than they need to for the services they prefer. We are looking to Essential Energy to adopt long-term strategies, and revenue proposals that align the interests of their shareholder with the interests of their customers. It is time that we move on from the adversarial processes of the past and move the consideration of these revenue proposals from the courts to the boardroom.
We appreciate the opportunity provided by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to respond to the Issues Paper. In this submission we are responding to the revenue proposal submitted by Essential Energy and the associated issues raised by the AER in its Issues Paper on the NSW electricity distribution determinations 2019-24.
In our view the Essential Energy proposal is able to be accepted by the AER, in making its Draft Determination.
If the AER accepts the Essential Energy proposal, the final outcome for consumers of these 2019-24 proposals, combined with the return of revenue to consumers from the remaking of the 2014-19 decisions by the AER, is a small increase (1.43% on average per annum) in prices in real terms. In this context, we expect that the application of the 2018 Rate of Return Guideline (which is currently under review) will put further downward pressure on network prices charged by Essential Energy.
The full submission can be read here.