Our customers are driving our proposal to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). We've spent a lot of time engaging with our customers, we always have. But what's important to them today is different than it was 10, and 20 years ago. 

For instance, customers want peace of mind, they want a reliable and safe network, they want us to be there after the storm, but they also want choice and control, whereas before they just got the energy from us. Customers want to integrate things like renewables, they want to contact us through mediums like the social network. In terms of providing those services, they want them at the best possible price. 

Price has been a big issue over the last five years, and Ergon's been doing a massive amount of work to make sure it's not an issue in the future. 

The next steps, now that we have submitted our proposal, is that the AER will look at it, they will be seeking comments and submissions from people within the industry, the public, advocacy groups, and they'll be considering those responses.  They'll engage with the business and they will critique our plans and our programs to make sure that the investment is prudent and efficient. 

The AER is there to represent the customer at the end of the day, and we like to think that we are both doing that. So, they will test us and that's a good thing. Then they will provide a draft response around April, we'll respond to that and a final determination will be made in October of 2015.

We believe our AER determination, and more importantly our submission and how we go about servicing our customers, will have a big impact on customers.  We've been doing a lot for a number of years now to get ready for this, to reduce the upward pressure on prices and put downward pressure on prices.  It seems like energy conservation, demand management, different tariffs and signals to our customers to help them move their load. 

New technologies, like ROAMES, reduce our risk and our operations and maintenance costs. This submission is going to bring more stable network prices. In fact, we believe those prices will be below inflation for the next five years. Giving the customer choice and control, peace of mind, and achieving that price outcome is what we are looking for.

We've done much already.  We've agreed on our corporate plan, our strategy going forward, and we've re-organised the business.  We've got to be more flexible and adaptable with our workforce.  We've got some more work to do there with the Enterprise Agreement.  We have to get Tariff Reform right.  This network is actually only utilised around 40 per cent  - we build it for the peaks. That gives us so much opportunity to get more out of it for less so we've got to leverage that.

And there's more than 4,000 people in Ergon Energy and we've got to be able to reach into their minds and have them contribute to the business, and tell us how we can run this business more efficiently and deliver on those customer commitments.

Watch the video

You have been reading an edited transcript of the video below. Watch the video to learn more about the AER submission, what it seeks to achieve, and what it means for the customer.

More information about the proposal can be found on our future investment overview page.

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