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SA Power Networks loses bid to increase revenue

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South Australia’s electricity distributor has lost a Federal Court bid to boost its revenue in a ruling the State Government says has spared consumers from a price slug.

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The court today dismissed an appeal from SA Power Networks (SAPN) against a ruling by the Australian Energy Regulator, later upheld by the Australian Competition Tribunal, which had blocked the revenue increase.

SAPN had asked to raise $4.53 billion in revenue over the 2015-2020 period but the regulator said $3.84 billion would be sufficient to run an efficient network and provide a safe and reliable service.

Spokesman Paul Roberts said the company had expected the decision and had already moved on.

“We anticipated this decision as it reflects decisions already made in other jurisdictions,” Roberts told AAP.

“We have moved on from this matter already and will continue to deliver the most cost-efficient distribution services in the national grid.”

But Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the court decision was a win for local power users.

“This is a huge win for South Australians households and businesses against higher power bills,” he said.

“What SAPN was seeking to do was to charge hundreds of millions of dollars more for the use of poles and wires, which would have been added straight to the bill of every South Australian.”

In its decision, the Federal Court found there were no errors in the tribunal’s previous decision.

– AAP

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