Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Questioned on Electricity Supply

Wednesday, 7th Feb

WELLS (Rowville) (11:44:31) — (13 926) The question I wish to raise is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. Minister, what assurances can you give Knox businesses that the government has any plan to ensure reliable electricity supply regardless of the weather? Businesses in my electorate have contacted me following two power outages in recent weeks. The first of these outages lasted two days. One business with 33 local employees was forced to cancel half a morning shift and all of an afternoon shift, sending people home rather that have them wait around until the lights came back on.

The business bore the cost of the loss of production that day as well as still needing to cover the costs of the employee wages. The outage was still below the threshold at which the owner could claim insurance, and the business will have to carry those losses in full. Worse still, they experienced another outage the following week. Minister, a huge number of businesses in my Rowville electorate, along with many in the south-east, have lost valuable productivity as a direct result of power outages on your watch.

 

ANSWER 

The government’s expectation is that all Victorian consumers are provided with a secure and reliable supply of electricity and I have spoken with the heads of all five distribution businesses to re-emphasise the government’s expectation that Victorian consumers be provided with reliable power supply.

 

Under the Victorian Electricity Distribution Code, distributors must ensure that their customers have a reliable supply of electricity. Where certain thresholds are met, distributors must make Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payments to customers.

 

Distribution businesses are also penalised through the Service Target Performance Incentive Scheme (STPIS) established and administered by the Australian Energy Regulator. The STPIS sets reliability targets based on historical performance and financial penalties apply for distribution businesses who fail to meet targets.

The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP