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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Outages cost Aurora $2m

The Mercury: Outages cost Aurora $2m [19dec05]

TASMANIA's electricity reliablility has improved but Aurora paid $2,094,960 for poor service under the Guarantee Service Level scheme last financial year.

Extreme weather on February 2 and 3 resulted in 17,390 customers being without power for 12 hours or more, which may have been eligible for exemption. But Aurora elected to make payments of $1,391,200.

Under the scheme, a customer enduring frequent or prolonged outages receives $80.

There were another 1149 outages lasting 12 hours or more, with payments totalling $91,920.

There were also 806 payments for reliability failure in urban areas and 6842 in non-urban areas.
Releasing his fifth annual review of the state's energy industry yesterday, Tasmanian Energy Regulator Andrew Reeves said that, overall, the electricity industry's performance was positive for consumers and average prices had decreased. Customers experienced an average of 314 minutes without supply, compared with 376 minutes in the previous year.

"Queensland and ACT customers generally experienced marginally cheaper rates than Tasmania, but other states and territories paid the same or higher costs for their domestic electricity," Mr Reeves said.

"Business customers in Tasmania enjoy electricity prices at or close to the bottom end of the current range of publicly available Australian prices."

The review also found:

Transend Network's capital program was behind schedule, prolonging a high level of risk in the network in some areas.

A total of 63 residential gas customers were connected, paying in the mid range compared to other jurisdictions.

The most unreliable region for electricity supply was the Tamar West area, where customers experienced outages averaging 28 hours.



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