It’s disappointing The Standard has again chosen to editorialise about this matter which has been the subject of extensive field work, investment, independent studies, public consultation, policy and strategy review.
At the end of January, we submitted our Regulatory Reset Proposal for 2021-2026 to the Australian Energy Regulator. This five-year plan offers to deliver more for customers at a lower cost. In particular, high network investment is designed to sustain reliability and safety.
We are proposing to invest $694.8 million in asset replacement over the period which is a 52 per cent increase on the $455.4 million approved for the current regulatory period.
Our plan is based on extensive consultation with stakeholders, including the regulator and community members.
We are planning a four-fold increase in pole replacements, taking the number to 20,878, and will refurbish a further 18,892 poles over the five years.
This follows a change in pole inspection and maintenance strategies to increase the amount of sound wood required for poles to remain on our network as well as a need to manage the age profile of the pole population.
Pole replacements are just one part of our bushfire mitigation program and our proposal includes significant investment in our bushfire mitigation program.
The poles used across our network are of the highest quality and meet Australian standards. Any suggestion otherwise is wrong.
The community can read more about our proposal and how we are delivering a safe and reliable network for the south west community at: talkingelectricity.com.au