ACTEW Managing Director John Knox has welcomed the ACT Government’s appointment of an industry panel that will hear the review of ICRC’s 2013 price direction for water and sewerage for the period July 2013 to June 2019.

Mr Knox said that ultimately, ACTEW had made the decision to seek a review based on analysis, backed up by expert advice, which highlighted and confirmed a range of concerning factors with the price direction.

“The decision to seek review was not taken lightly and was notably the first time through more than 30 ICRC decisions relating to water and energy pricing over the past 17 years, that a review had been sought by any utility,” Mr Knox said.

“Following our analysis, we felt that there were significant shortcomings in the decision, and felt obliged to exercise our right under the Act to seek review by an industry panel.”

The reasons include:

  • The uncertainty created by the proposed framework and the way it will be used at future reviews;
  • The terms of the pricing decision – i.e. six years with biennial review (every two years) is a costly, onerous and unnecessary way to determine our pricing path, effectively placing us in a perpetual state of review; and
  • The decision was a departure from well accepted methodologies.

“The main reasons for seeking a review were far from being just about price impacts,” Mr Knox said. “Because of the inability to plan forward for more than a two year period, the pricing decision provides significant uncertainty to ACTEW and for our customers.”

“ACTEW’s focus needs to be on providing the most cost effective and efficient service to the community without compromising on quality.”

“ACTEW therefore welcomes the announcement of the formation of the review panel, and looks forward to this important review proceeding,” Mr Knox concluded.

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