Legislation enabling the transfer of the regulation of Western Australia's electricity network to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has today been introduced to State Parliament by the Liberal National Government.
Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the legislation would allow WA to adopt the National Electricity Law for the regulation of Western Power's electricity network, bringing the State in line with all other States and Territories, and helping pave the way for a more efficient energy sector.
Dr Nahan said the change would offer significant benefits for electricity consumers and the State's economy by improving access to the network for low-cost renewable generation and reducing connection costs.
"Through the Liberal National Government's Electricity Market Review (EMR), we are working to ensure WA's electricity industry embraces the exciting technological advances and changes in the way people are using electricity," he said.
"It is critical the regulation of Western Power's network is measured against national benchmarks to ensure network costs are kept at efficient levels. The AER will ensure electricity consumers pay no more than necessary for access to Western Power's poles and wires for the safe and reliable delivery of electricity.
"This legislation demonstrates the State Government's commitment to regulatory reform across critical sectors of the Western Australian economy to become more efficient, open and transparent while ensuring best practices are adopted."
The Minister said the safety and reliability of the Western Power network would continue to be monitored and regulated by State Government agencies, with existing safety standards remaining.
"The National Electricity Law will improve access to the Western Power network for low-cost renewable generation, and reduce connection costs for businesses and household electricity customers," he said.
Dr Nahan said the AER would be the economic regulator for WA's electricity network and gas pipelines, meaning better regulatory decision-making through access to the capability, experience and regulatory expertise of a specialised energy market regulator.
The AER is the independent national regulator for electricity networks and gas pipelines under the National Electricity Law and National Gas Law
Western Power's next regulatory control period starts with the AER on July 1, 2018
From 2014, the EMR has undertaken widespread public and industry consultation
Minister's office - 6552 5700