Western Power announced today that taxpayers would benefit by up to $400 million each year in newly identified savings, with WA network tariffs to fall for the first time ever.
Chief Executive Officer Paul Italiano said Western Power was acutely aware of the cost of living pressures on Western Australian families and, as a large part of the electricity sector, it was committed to doing all it could to reduce these pressures.
Mr Italiano said Western Power was on track to deliver savings of $1.4 billion over its current five-year regulatory period ending in June next year and is committed to delivering further savings of $300 to $400 million a year.
He said Western Power had lifted network performance – including safety and reliability – during this current regulatory cycle.
“For the first time in WA’s history, network tariffs will fall,” Mr Italiano said. “This will put significant downward pressure on electricity costs in the next regulatory period.
“These efficiencies will bring Western Power into line with the best performing utilities in Australia without sacrificing safety or reliability.
“Our commitment to providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity remains unwavering.”
Mr Italiano said savings would come from a broad range of initiatives including reducing capital expenditure following lower-than expected electricity demand, reduced input costs, increasing workforce productivity, renegotiating contracts, consolidating suppliers and better prioritising projects. Any staff changes would be a last resort.
He said global energy utility experts PwC had been appointed to assist Western Power in building a more competitive network business in response to a dynamic and changing market for energy in Western Australia.
“Electricity is vital to today’s lifestyle, making the work Western Power undertakes more important than ever, and the way in which our customers consume electricity is also changing,” he said.
“Our customers and the State will benefit from these changes.”