This submission was made to the Senate Environment and Communications Reference Committee’s inquiry into the performance and management of electricity network companies. In the submission, PIAC provide broad historical context for the transition and failure of the regulatory regime, particularly when the National Electricity Rules were introduced and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) made its first network price determination. The submission also commented on the outcomes of the 2012 inquiry by the Senate Select Committee on Electricity Prices and the reforms of the regulatory framework overseen by the AER and the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) that followed, including the development of the Better Regulation Guidelines. Finally, the submission outlined a number of areas where PIAC believes further reform of the regulatory framework would be in the long term interest of consumers. These areas are: addressing historical over-investment in the network; the way the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) for network borrowings is calculated; the proposed-respond model of economic regulation; consumer engagement in the regulatory process, and; responding to the challenges of tomorrow.
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