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Electricity consumers saved around $15M by regulator decision

SACOSS has applauded the Essential Service Commission of South Australia’s (ESCOSA) Decision on reliability standards released today because it will help keep a lid on electricity prices.

“The Commission has listened to consumers who really don’t want to pay for overinvestment in reliability and too much for inconvenience payments either,” says Jo De Silva, SACOSS Energy Policy Lead.

“An important element of this Decision is to require SA Power Networks to maintain reliability at current levels, rather than improve it. Improvements would have come at a massive cost to consumers and SACOSS has long recognised that reduced prices remains the overwhelming priority for consumers. As you’d expect given the generally high levels of reliability across the network, consumers also have limited willingness to pay extra for even more improvements to reliability. ”

“ESCOSA have also determined that they will make changes to the Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) scheme. Again consumers have clearly indicated that they don’t want to pay as much as they do now for the GSL scheme and the helpful changes proposed by ESCOSA will lead to a 40% reduction in costs over a three year period.”

“The GSL scheme will be realigned to focus on those consumers with ongoing, persistent reliability issues and SACOSS strongly supports this move. It was never meant to provide insurance style compensation for any loss or damage, and there is a separate compensation scheme which already does this and is administered by SA Power Networks. It’s very important that the GSL scheme isn’t confused with either this scheme or householders own responsibility for maintaining adequate insurance in such circumstances.”

“SACOSS acknowledges ESCOSA’s significant work throughout the Review process, including its engagement and consultation with SA Power Networks, consumers and stakeholders, in addition to its detailed analysis of data and comprehensive economic assessment of reliability standard options. SACOSS commends ESCOSA on its thorough and well-reasoned Decision.”

“Coming at a time of year when consumers are highly aware of having to use more energy to keep cool, this Decision continues to put downward pressure on prices and will provide welcome relief to those hardest hit by South Australia’s high energy prices.”

Published Date: 
Monday, 7 January 2019