04/01/2018 - 13:22

New energy connections lower

04/01/2018 - 13:22

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The number of new gas and power connections in Western Australia fell in the year to June, an outcome of the slowing property development market, according to the Economic Regulation Authority.

New energy connections lower
Western Power operates the state's South West Interconnected System.

The number of new gas and power connections in Western Australia fell in the year to June, an outcome of the slowing property development market, according to the Economic Regulation Authority.

Just fewer than 25,600 new electricity connections were established over the 12-month period, the ERA said, with the vast majority of those attached by Western Power.

That number was down from around 33,400 in the 2016 financial year.

The total number of properties connected at the end of June 2017 was nearly 1.2 million, an increase of 1.7 per cent on 2016.

The number of new gas connections fell 32 per cent to be 16,871, with those predominantly managed by Atco Australia.

But the level of household gas consumption was at a six-year high in 2017, ERA said.

“The growth in new connections on distribution systems is closely linked to conditions in the property development market,” the ERA said in its annual report on the performance of energy distributors.

“Lower growth in new connections in 2016-17 correlates with a general slowdown in property development activity, particularly in Perth, due to an oversupply in the market.”

ERA chair Nicky Cusworth said although there were fewer new connections, there had been an increase in reconnections.

“The number of reconnections is driven by retailers” she said.

“The increase in reconnections on the Horizon Power network was due to the installation of new smart meters under the Advanced Metering Infrastructure program.

“These properties can now be disconnected and reconnected remotely.”

On Western Power’s network, the number of reconnections was largely driven by customers being rejoining the network after failing to pay bills on time.

Reconnections on that network were 46 per cent higher than in the year to June 2016.

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