Adelaide, Australia — (METERING.COM) — August 3, 2009 – ETSA Utilities is proposing to invest $2.8 billion in expanding and improving South Australia’s electricity distribution network over the next five years – more than double the investment made in 2005-2010.
ETSA Utilities has lodged its funding submission for 2010-2015 with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), which will make a final determination in April 2010.
CEO Lew Owens said over the past 10 years ETSA Utilities had been a cost efficiency leader amongst Australian electricity distribution businesses, delivering real reductions in distribution costs to customers and improving customer service.
“ETSA Utilities has undertaken a significant review of the complex issues that we and the electricity industry face. We have consulted extensively with government, customers and the broader community on their expectations,” said Owens.
The proposed investment in the network will support the strong growth and gradual restructuring of the state’s economy based on mining, defence and tourism, and meet the demands of the huge program of state infrastructure investment in water and public transport, said the company in a statement. Moreover the investment will provide a platform for smart network technologies, as well as support mandatory changes in the transmission sector to improve security of supply.
“The proposed increase in investment is required so South Australians can achieve the things they want, in business, at home and in the community, and so the network is positioned to meet current and emerging industry-wide challenges,” said Owens, adding that the electricity bill for the typical residential customer – currently about Aus$1,100 (US$920) per annum – would rise in real terms by about Aus$25 (US$21) each year of the regulatory period.