$310.9 million to return to Ausgrid customers

energy prices, AER

Households and businesses will benefit from the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) remade final decision on the amount of revenue that Ausgrid is entitled to recover over the 2014-19 regulatory period.

This is consistent with the regulator’s draft decision, issued in November 2018, and means Ausgrid can recover total revenues of $9,126.3 million ($, nominal) from its customers resulting in $310.9 million being returned to customers in the next regulatory period (2019-24).

AER Chair Paula Conboy says the AER is satisfied with the decision, which is in the long-term interests of consumers.

“[It] will promote stability in network tariffs at a time where affordability is a key concern for many consumers,” Ms Conboy said.

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In 2015, Ausgrid proposed to recover $12,055.4 million from consumers over the 2014-19 regulatory period, but the AER approved the significantly lower amount of $8,785.2 million in its final decision. Legal action followed, resulting in the AER’s 2015 final decision being set aside by the Australian Competition Tribunal.

The revised amount to be recovered from consumers is $341.1 million above what the AER approved in its 2015 decision. Under the interim arrangements that were put in place, Ausgrid recovered approximately $652 million more revenue than was set out in the 2015 final decision.

Ms. Conboy assured consumers they would not be paying more than what the final decision has provided for.

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“This outcome is a great example of how engaging with consumers in a revenue setting process can benefit everyone, and it’s a process being applied more broadly to other network decisions,” she said.

“This is the type of approach the AER is keen to model with network businesses to drive a more efficient reset process across the National Energy Market.”

Under a separate determination process, the AER is expected to release its final decision on Ausgrid’s revenue proposal for the next (2019‑24) regulatory period at the end of April 2019 after considering Ausgrid’s revised regulatory proposal and stakeholder submissions.