Consolidated West Australian public utilities administration a good move - as long as it is quick.
· SEA welcomes move to overarching utility management by Western Australian Government.
· Enterprises can deliver new innovative integrated utility services.
· SEA says learning from water industry can help inform sustainable measures in energy.
· SEA warns move must be done swiftly and thoroughly and not piecemeal over an extended time.


The announcement by Premier Barnett yesterday (5 January 2012) of a new Public Utilities Office that will have responsibility for energy water and waste management policy been welcomed by the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA - www.seaaus.com.au).


The new Office will subsume the existing role of the Office of Energy and be in place by the end of March 2012.

The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA) continues to be one of the most vocal on the energy market reforms, including those needed to complete the transition to cost-reflective pricing of electricity.

‘The new Office is an opportunity for government to offer consistent approaches to policy and regulation across all utilities, and has the potential if handled effectively to open up new opportunities for business in service provision,' says Professor Ray Wills, SEA Chief Executive.

‘Over the coming decade, as distributed generation and use and reuse of both energy and water combined with waste minimisation and recycling become ever more important, opportunities for integrated approaches to service provision will be supported by more transparent decision making and more consistent pricing approaches will simplify service delivery.'

However, SEA is concerned about timelines for the integration of water and waste into the new Office.

The energy market can receive valuable guidance from the water industry about efficiency campaigns and behaviour change, and efficient waste management will bring many energy savings, so a new integrated Office will have a key role to play and must be delivered as soon as practicable,' says Prof Wills.

Also, the formation of the new Office will have important implications for the Western Australian Government's Strategic Energy Initiative Energy2031 plan, and this document must be rapidly updated to include this new approach before its release.


A copy of the Premier's media release "New Public Utilities Office to be established" is available here http://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/WACabinetMinistersSearch.aspx?ItemId=147215&minister=Barnett&admin=Barnett

 

Consolidated West Australian public utilities administration a good move - as long as it is quick.

SEA Media Release - 6 January 2011 

 
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