The role of the Public Utilities Office is to lead the provision of quality advice to government on essential utility services, with an initial focus on energy issues, following the closure of the Western Australian Office of Energy and the transfer of its functions of the Department of Finance.
Some of the immediate issues to be addressed by the Public Utilities Office will be:
- The State Underground Power Program;
- Western Power’s third access arrangement (AA3) currently before the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) and how to deal with the infrastructure demands expected to arise from that;
- The Strategic Energy Initiative;
- Electricity and gas tariff rises and ways to minimise the pressure of those increases on vulnerable customers;
- Enhanced performance monitoring, and critical review of the infrastructure programs of the State’s four electricity corporations (Verve Energy, Western Power, Synergy and Horizon Power); and,
- Network issues such as constrained access, smart metering and a review of the access code.