The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has welcomed a clearer framework for engaging stakeholders in electricity distribution network investment decisions.
According to the peak national energy body, the publication of the Regulatory Investment Test for Distribution (RIT-D) by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is another positive step for improved community engagement in electricity network planning decisions.
ENA chief executive officer John Bradley said the scope for embedded generation and demand-side participation is changing.
“Electricity distribution networks are committed to evaluating credible alternatives to building poles and wires, to get the best outcome for customers,” he said.
“Network businesses welcome a framework that provides transparency in the assessment process, including the evaluation of viable non-network options which may include embedded generation or demand management.”
Mr Bradley said network businesses are focused on the interests of consumers as the industry contributes to a sweeping overhaul of the regulatory framework.
“The role of the consumer is being reprioritised at every stage in the modern energy network,” he said.
“Consumers are being engaged more, and in better ways, about strategic network management issues, including proposed network investments, the choices between network and non-network solutions; and the trade-off between power prices and reliability.”