Ausgrid has offered its support to the Energy Security Board (ESB) for a “future-focused” National Energy Guarantee (NEG).
CEO Richard Gross said a well-designed NEG is important to ensuring a reliable and stable electricity sector that can also help Australia meet its international obligation to reduce emissions.
“Ausgrid’s 1.7 million customers have told us they want and expect electricity that is affordable, reliable and sustainable,” Mr Gross said.
“A well-designed NEG is an opportunity to provide the long-term policy confidence and regulatory certainty the industry and importantly investors need to help drive down electricity prices.
“We encourage the ESB to consider the factors motivating energy customers.
“As customers adopt new technologies that allow them to take control of their energy usage and support action on climate change, a decentralised yet integrated electricity system is emerging.”
Mr Gross said over time, networks like Ausgrid would evolve to become the ‘platform’ responsible for matching the excess supply produced by a customer owned distributed energy resource (DER) with the energy needs of their neighbours, enabling ‘peer-to-peer’ trading in electricity.
“As a new model of the electricity supply chain emerges, distribution networks like Ausgrid will be critical to enabling the multi-directional exchanges of energy required to maintain reliability and for the most value to be extracted from renewable sources of customer-owned generation,” he said.
“We look forward to supporting the ESB in designing a NEG that incorporates the role of distribution networks and delivers a more affordable, reliable and sustainable supply of electricity to customers.
“We share these priorities with our customers and we are aligning Ausgrid’s network investment and operating decisions accordingly.”
The ESB released its consultation paper on the NEG in February.
The ESB will undertake further consultation and design work on the NEG following the COAG Energy Council meeting in April 2018, with the final detailed design to be presented to the COAG Energy Council later this year.