Western Power has released its annual results, achieving a reduction of $27.4 million in operating expenditure in the 2013-14 financial year; their second consecutive period of year-on-year cost savings.
Chief Executive Officer, Paul Italiano, said the savings, which excluded reorganisation costs, were a significant accomplishment given the business also delivered a record $1.4 billion annual works program in full this year.
“Our commitment to providing safe, reliable and affordable connections to electricity for our customers was strongly reflected in our performance in 2013-14,” Mr Italiano said.
“Last financial year we achieved a reduction of $25.5 million in operating costs, and this year we have built on that success by driving efficiencies across the business with the result being a further $27.4 million reduction.”
“This reduction in operating expenditure outperforms the target set by the Economic Regulatory Authority (ERA) which included a 2 per cent cost efficiency target, and demonstrates that Western Power is becoming an efficient and innovative customer-focused business.”
This year saw a 40 per cent increase in the number of wood poles reinforced and a 36 per cent increase in wood pole replacements. This translates to 67,641 wood poles being reinforced and a further 23,711 poles replaced by Western Power crews across the network.
“Overall, capital investment has risen 12 per cent to $1.18 billion, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to maintain and improve the safety of the network for our customers,” said Mr Italiano.
Despite the challenges of being one of the most isolated electricity networks in the world, Western Power’s network costs continue to be one of the lowest in Australia.
Mr Italiano said that improving operating costs performance is central to Western Power’s goal of providing its customers with affordable connections to electricity.
“We have connected nearly 30,000 new customers to the network this year, which is a five year high, and our award winning Perth-based customer service centre managed over 900,000 calls during this period.”
“Over the last 12 months, our people have excelled in their role as emergency responders – specifically restoring supply during the September storms and the January fires in the Perth Hills area.”
“Our crews and support teams safely maintain electricity supply in challenging weather and working conditions throughout the year.”
“During a time of significant transformation of the business, Western Power has remained focused on driving efficiencies and delivering on our record $1.4bn works program for the benefit of our customers and the development of our State.”
The Annual Report is available for viewing online.