Jemena has proposed to reduce charges for its almost 300,000 residential customers by 8.2 per cent over the next five years in its submission to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) on network prices for 2016-2020.

If the AER accepts Jemena’s proposal, average residential customers will save $138 over this period, and typical small business customers will save $376.

Network charges currently make up around 37 per cent of an average residential customer’s bill.

Jemena MD, Paul Adams, said the company was passing on savings from productivity gains and lower interest rates to its customers.

“Our customers have told us they want relief from higher electricity prices, so we’re easing the impact of distribution costs on bills by delivering savings from being one of the most productive and efficient electricity networks in Australia,” he said.

“Our proposal will also help drive more efficient use of our assets in the longer term. By making some targeted investments in demand management initiatives, we can help make the network more efficient and cheaper to run, deferring or even avoiding building peak network infrastructure that’s only used on a few hot days each year when demand soars.”

Mr Adams said proposed network prices for 2016-2020 reflected how new technologies and savvy customers using electricity more efficiently were driving the evolution of network services.

“The way customers use our network is changing. They want more control over their electricity bills, they’re generating their own electricity from solar PV units and they want us to invest in services and solutions to make the network more efficient and less expensive to run,” he said.

“We’ve developed new prices and services to empower our customers to make smart decisions about how they use electricity. Our proposed new maximum demand charge will give customers real incentives to change their consumption patterns and save money.”

Mr Adams said Jemena had consulted extensively with its customers on developing its new tariff proposal to strike the right balance on reliability, service levels and cost.

“Our customers value a safe, reliable electricity supply. They expect us to manage our network to keep supply interruptions to a minimum, deliver their electricity safely and help keep it affordable by prudently managing our assets,” he said.

“As Jemena’s network serves some of Melbourne’s fastest growing residential and industrial areas, our proposal ensures we can handle extra demand from new developments and upgrade aging assets in more established suburbs, while continuing to deliver the safe, reliable and responsive electricity supply our customers count on.”

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