Households in Melbourne's south-east place reliability in the context of the transition to renewable energy as the key priority for electricity networks, according to a new report released today by United Energy.
United Energy recently consulted 70 customers across two face-to-face forums as it launched its largest customer engagement program ever to build a new business plan for 2026-2031.
General Manager Regulation, Renate Vogt, said the forums provided each business with insights from a diverse range of Victorian electricity consumers that will help shape and influence investment in the network.
“Understanding customers’ priorities and their expectations of our services is critical to ensuring we’re investing in our network in a way that delivers value for our communities,” Ms Vogt said.
The sessions were held in Rosebud and Sandringham, as well as additional online engagement sessions targeting youth and culturally and linguistical diverse communities (CALD).
The insights gained will help design major projects or initiatives planned by the network as well as refine the topics that will be subject to further consultation and engagement with people in 2023.
The United Energy Broad and Wide Stakeholder Engagement summary reports examine what customers’ priorities are in relation to four broad themes – reliability and resilience, affordability and equity, energy transformation and customer experience.
Insights will be incorporated into new business plans (called regulatory proposals) that are built every five years and must be reviewed and approved by the Australian Energy Regulator. The process is referred to as a regulatory reset.
Key findings from the Broad and Wide engagement includes:
- when asked to vote, people identified planning for the energy transformation as the top priority.
- Specifically, customers were concerned about the future of network reliability and energy supply in context of increased electrification and penetration of renewables.
- Customers also expressed a desire to financially support vulnerable customers and learn more about ways to reduce energy costs.
“There were some really interesting insights as customers told us they really valued the work we’re doing to enable the energy transition, but really wanted to see that it was well planned in the important coming years,” Ms Vogt said.
“The five-year plan we are developing will coincide with the largest transformation ever in the energy sector as Victoria aims to reduce emissions by 80 per cent, by 2035.”
“As networks, our role is critical in ensuring our State can meet these targets, and our investment plans will need to make sure we are ready for these exciting changes.”
United Energy will continue consulting and engaging with customers throughout 2023.
To view the reports, visit Future Regulatory reset - United Energy
To register your interest in participating in the United Energy Regulatory Reset, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org