The LGAQ and Local Buy have continued to represent local government on a wide range of regulatory issues including contestable metering, demand-based tariffs and street lights through engagement sessions hosted by Energex, Ergon and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).
The AER’s determinations for the 2015-2020 Regulatory Control period provide substantial savings to councils, particularly in relation to street lights. The LGAQ and Local Buy will continue to ensure the AER appreciates local government’s concerns in the lead up to its final decision on 31 October 2015.
The Energex Public Lighting Management Standard is on its website, the first time a service charter has been made available. The LGAQ has commented on Ergon Energy’s draft service charter, to be finalised by the end of 2015.
The Newman Government pushed through changes to the way councils pay for street lighting. From 1 July 2014, 10 percent of non-energy street lighting charges was passed through to Ergon Energy customers.
The recovery of the remaining 90 per cent is subject to the development of a price path that will seek to recover these charges over time.
These charges are currently paid via a Community Service Obligation (CSO) payment from the State Government directly to Ergon Energy. The LGAQ has convinced the new State Government to provide a 12-month hiatus in any further pass through to allow for further negotiations.
The LGAQ’s first preference is for these charges to be covered by the existing CSO payment. If this proves impossible, we will try to ensure the adoption of a sensible price path that limits the impacts on councils. We expect an outcome by the end of 2015.