South Australians invited to People’s Panel for power plans

Overhead powerlines (People's Panel)

SA Power Networks is inviting South Australians to shape the future direction and management of the SA electricity distribution network beyond 2025 by joining a People’s Panel. 

In a first for the energy sector in SA, the distributor is inviting members of the public to nominate to be part of a People’s Panel that will help decide what goes into its draft 2025-2030 Regulatory submission due to be lodged with the Australian Energy Regulator next year. 

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The People’s Panel will be run independently by democracyCo, with a group of 50 people to be selected to participate, plus 15 business representatives. 

“This is the first time a People’s Panel has been assembled to determine what services are included in our proposal to the energy regulator,” SA Power Networks executive GM customer and community Jess Vonthethoff said. 

“We have developed our community engagement and consultation process with our Community Advisory Board and have conducted a number of deep dive workshops with various communities to understand customers’ concerns and priorities for 2025-2030. 

“Now we are looking for a People’s Panel to consider all the community and stakeholder feedback and the initial plans we have developed so we can draft our submission to the Regulator,” Vonthethoff said. 

“This is a real opportunity for South Australians to influence our long-term plans. That’s important as our distribution network is right at the heart of the exciting transition underway to green our energy and transport systems. 

“SA Power Networks wants to understand what levels of service the community wants and is prepared to invest in and understand customer perspectives on the best balance between service and price.” 

Vonthethoff said that throughout the consultation, customers and community members had confirmed that SA Power Networks was focusing on the key issues that matter most to them, including: 

  • Electricity affordability and equity, including looking after the vulnerable members of the community and making sure everyone benefits from the shift to low-cost renewable energy 
  • Safety, reliability and security of electricity supply, including stepping up our investment in ageing assets 
  • Supporting choice and empowerment for customers in how they meet their energy needs 
  • Decarbonising our energy system with flow-on social, environmental and economic benefits. 

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“It’s an ambitious agenda and we are really excited about engaging a People’s Panel to help us finalise our position on these issues and submit our 2025-2030 Draft Regulatory Proposal,” Vonthethoff said. 

For more information on the People’s Panel and to express interest in participating visit the Talking Power website.

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