Australia’s energy transformation: network report card

Electricity networks have made significant progress on the transformation to meet customer demand for innovative, lower-cost energy solutions, according to a report card published today by Energy Networks Australia (ENA).

ENA CEO Andrew Dillon said the 2018 Report Card showed the implementation of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap had moved forward in all five priority areas identified since its publication a year ago.

The only area that had not progressed as quickly as network businesses would like was developing the government and sector consensus needed to support fairer energy pricing.

“Better value for money is a priority and further reform is desperately needed if we are to enable the move to a fairer pricing system and save customers billions of dollars over coming decades,” Mr Dillon said.

“We need governments to step up and support networks as we implement pricing that gives our customers the right incentives to unlock savings for all users.”

Developed in partnership with the CSIRO, the roadmap paved the way with practical, forward-looking solutions to address the complex challenges facing the nation’s electricity system.

Setting out 45 milestones and 158 actions, the roadmap provides a clear pathway for network businesses to respond to the evolving environment with the agility, innovation and collaboration required to secure Australia’s energy future.

The five priority areas the Report Card examined were:

  •  Improving trust with customers
  •  Implementing new services to achieve system security
  •  Securing a stable carbon policy
  •  Incentivising efficiency and innovation
  •  Developing essential information tools for a more cost effective grid.

One year on, the snapshot review found significant work had been done to strengthen collaboration between networks and other key stakeholders to ensure greater information sharing to better meet customer needs.

One key project being developed with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) will deliver Open Energy Networks, a guideline for integrating new technologies such as batteries and solar into a modernised grid.

Cyber security capability has also been prioritised by networks, with further innovation expected in the next 12 months to deliver additional Finkel recommendations supporting the continued protection of Australia’s critical energy infrastructure and systems.

“Overall, I commend Australian energy networks for the significant progress made in such a short time,” Mr Dillon said.

“However, we certainly can’t be complacent. More work needs to be done – particularly by government on tariff reform – but I know energy networks will continue to work together, with government and with our customers to build a smarter and more affordable energy future for all Australians.”

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