Sydney, Australia — (METERING.COM) — July 19, 2013 – New South Wales network businesses Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy are to look to sell their national metering businesses to focus on core operations associated with the running of the NSW electricity network.
This follows Essential Energy’s gradual withdrawal from the contestable metering market (i.e. involving large commercial businesses) since 2011, after deciding not to renew contracts following the sale of its retail business.
However, the proposal will not affect regulated metering and meter reading services for homes and businesses across NSW. The national contestable metering businesses are not part of the core, regulated electricity network in NSW.
Since the 1990s, Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy have competed with the private sector for large business customers and have a total of 33,000 metering sites in the contestable metering market in states including Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and NSW.
“We no longer have a retail business and we don’t believe it’s our role to compete with the private sector in a commercial market in other states including Tasmania,” said Vince Graham, chief executive officer of Networks NSW, the company formed from the merger of the three network businesses. “We need to focus our time and resources on providing a safe, reliable power supply and keeping electricity prices down for NSW – not on commercial ventures across Australia.”
The NSW government is currently undertaking reform of the distribution networks in order to help to contain the rising costs of electricity, with more than Au$2 million (US$1.8 million) identified in potential efficiency savings. The formation of Networks NSW was aimed to reduce waste and duplication and generate savings from economies of scale. The sale of the contestable metering businesses is expected to remove further costs from the businesses and ensure a more efficient structure.
According to a statement Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy will assess market interest in the national metering businesses but the transaction will not proceed unless the assessment confirms that the proposed sale represents value for money.