Engaging customers and stakeholders in the energy transition

The Electricity Distribution Price Review (EDPR) is a process undertaken every 5 years, and overseen by the Australian Energy Regulator, that determines the services we will deliver and the prices we charge customers for our network services.

Customer and stakeholder engagement is central to the price review process, especially as many of our customers will interact with our network in new ways in the coming years – for example, exporting energy, charging their vehicles and switching to electricity as a source of heat.

In addition to our ongoing engagement activities, we are preparing for and holding important conversations with our electricity customers and stakeholders throughout 2023 and 2024.

Our approach to customer and stakeholder engagement for EDPR 2026-31 was collaborative and developed with insights from our Customer Consultative Committee, Customer Forum, as well as independent industry members and government representatives.

Members and individuals came together for a co-design workshop in October 2022. The purpose of this workshop was to produce a set of agreed inputs to underpin our EDPR 2026-31 EDPR engagement plan. This included our strategy, principles and engagement model, agreed topics for engagement, and our design for a stakeholder reference group and series of sub-panels.

More information about the workshop is available in the EDPR 2026-31 Engagement Plan - Workshop Report.

Our EDPR 2026-31 Engagement plan is the result of a co-design process with customer representatives and other stakeholders, and which builds on:

  • ongoing customer research
  • our own experience engaging across our three regulated networks
  • other electricity distribution businesses’ experience, and
  • engagement guidelines and best practices.

It is a ‘living’ document, which outlines the engagement we will undertake on our EDPR 2026-31 program until we submit our proposal to the AER in early 2025.

We both recognise, and support, this document changing over time, as customer and other stakeholders begin their engagement activities with us, and as environmental circumstances continue to change. Updates to this document will be shared via the EDPR 2026-31 pages on Community Hub throughout 2023, 2024 and 2025.

View the current version of our EDPR 2026-31 Engagement Plan, as of March 2023.

A key feature of our engagement approach is a series of sub-panels and a Co-ordination Group. The Co-ordination Group:

  • in a transparent manner, works collaboratively with the panels and AusNet, and where necessary challenges AusNet to prepare a high-quality evidence-based proposal reflective of customers’ preferences.
  • identifies and raises conflicts or overlaps between panels, and works collaboratively with AusNet to identify value-stacking opportunities across workstreams, understand and resolve trade-offs for inclusion in the proposal.
  • gets into detail on building blocks (incorporating panel inputs) and the price path.
  • reflects customers’ interests and value in technical considerations of the proposal with a clear line-of-sight from AusNet’s research and engagement program.
  • authors “independent” report(s) required under the Better Resets Handbook (AER, 2022) covering items such as the effectiveness of the engagement process in identifying customer preferences and the extent to which these are reflected in the Revenue Proposal.

All 6 Co-ordination Group members are also members of one or more sub-panels. The sub-panels will engage in greater depth on topics including customer experience, electricity availability, benchmarking and opex, future networks, and tariffs and pricing. The group is overseen by an independent chair.

Meet our Co-ordination Group members:

Meeting summaries present an overview of discussion at Co-ordination Group meetings and affiliated working groups, as well as agreed actions resulting from these meetings.

In early 2023 the Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) was established to provide support to sub-panels and oversight of the overall proposal and engagement process governance.

The SRG met monthly between February and May 2023, after which it was refined and reformed as the Co-Ordination Group. Meeting summaries associated with SRG meetings, or SRG- SRG-affiliated working groups, are available below:

More to come

Like our living engagement plan, this site will evolve and be updated with new information as we progress our stakeholder engagement meetings and discussions. ‘Follow’ this page to stay up-to-date with our EDPR engagement activities.