Designing the future of energy together

22 May 2023

Essential Energy has submitted its 2024-29 Regulatory Proposal to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), following a two-year program of customer and stakeholder engagement.

The Proposal outlines how we will operate and maintain NSW’s largest electricity distribution network for the five years from 1 July 2024, and includes plans to address key customer and stakeholder priorities, including realising the benefits of the energy transition and increasing community and network resilience.

Essential Energy’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Anne Pearson said, “Essential Energy is modernising, while continuing to deliver on customers’ priorities around safety, reliability, and affordability. Along with our customers, we want a network that is resilient and flexible enough to accommodate new and emerging technologies.

“Customers told us they want to see Essential Energy embrace the growth of renewable energy generation and storage, so we’re continuing to invest in new technologies and build a smarter network, like our recently launched network battery.”

We engaged over 400 people in a multi-phased program of customer and stakeholder engagement, which commenced in July 2021, and was conducted both virtually during COVID-19 restrictions, and face-to-face once it was safe.

“Our teams worked collaboratively with customers and stakeholders right across our footprint, from regional, rural and remote parts of NSW, to understand their expectations of a network fit for the future,” Anne added.

Forums were held in Broken Hill, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Ballina, Taree, Inverell, and Bega.

Key investments in the Proposal include:

  • $317 million in community and network resilience to weather extremes, including strategic deployment of fireproof (composite) power poles, microgrids and stand-alone power systems
  • $171 million in new technologies to support customer access to more renewable energy and increasing electrification such as increase in the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), solar and batteries.

“We especially acknowledge and thank the valuable contribution from our customers and stakeholders in helping us develop a proposal that delivers a prudent steppingstone to the future of energy,” Anne concluded.