The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has published its determination on Ausgrid’s proposed Amendments to its Tariff Structure Statement (TSS). The AER has decided to not approve the proposed amendments which would have introduced a new network tariff for embedded networks. The AER was not satisfied that the threshold to amend the TSS had been met.
Ausgrid’s current TSS applies for the 2019 to 2024 period, and was approved by the AER in April 2019. In September 2019, Ausgrid submitted a proposal to amend its current TSS. The proposal sought to introduce a new network tariff for certain embedded networks on 1 July 2020.
The AER's Consideration and Conclusion
In considering the proposed amendment, the AER examined whether an event had occurred that was beyond the Ausgrid’s reasonable control and that could not have been foreseen by the Ausgrid at the time of the final decision, and secondly, whether as a result of the event, the proposed amended TSS would be, or would be likely to be, materially better comply to the distribution pricing principles than the existing TSS.
Ausgrid based its proposal on three events:
1. The AER’s decision not to approve its placeholder network tariff embedded networks;
2. An unanticipated forecast increase in the number of embedded network customers in its distribution area; and
3. the release of the AEMC’s final report on updating the regulatory arrangements for embedded networks.
The AER concluded that it was not reasonably satisfied that there was an event that occurred beyond Ausgrid’s reasonable control or that could not have been reasonably foreseen at the time the final decision was made.