Energy Networks Australia is calling for regulation change to allow network businesses to install stand-alone power systems for some rural and remote energy customers.
CEO Andrew Dillon says such a move will mean lower prices for all customers and better reliability for those at the fringe at the electricity grid.
“Australia needs to utilise new energy technologies and doing so can be a win:win – lower power bills and better reliability,” Mr Dillon says.
“The catch is the current regulatory framework restricts network businesses from installing stand-alone power systems to customers, even where they are the logical option.
“Providing grid-supplied power to people in regional and remote areas is generally far more expensive, with significant poles and wires infrastructure, sometimes extending hundreds of kilometres, required to service limited numbers of people.
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“Allowing network businesses to provide stand-alone systems will mean the high cost of providing poles and wires in remote areas – for which all energy customers pay – can be avoided, delivering savings on power bills.
“Regional and remote communities can also experience poor power quality and reliability, with long power lines far more exposed to fire and weather events. Stand-alone power systems can make power supply more reliable – and also enable faster fault detection, so when there is an outage, power can be restored quickly.”
Mr Dillon says network businesses have the expertise and capacity to deliver these services to regional and remote communities.
“It’s no coincidence the recent ACCC report called for immediate work to identify and implement changes to allow more stand-alone power systems to be installed,” he says.
Energy Networks Australia has made the case for the regulation change in its submission to a review by the Australian Energy Market Commission into regulatory frameworks for stand-alone power systems.
Read the submission here.