The Hydro Tasmania and Aurora Energy annual reports to be released today show that Tasmania’s energy businesses are in a strong financial position.
Clearly, 2015-16 was a difficult time for Tasmania’s energy businesses and the fact that both businesses have performed strongly in 2016-17 is welcomed.
Our energy businesses remain in a sound financial position and are well placed to continue to deliver value to the Tasmanian people into the future.
The Hydro Tasmania Annual Report confirms 2016-17 was a year of consolidation for Hydro Tasmania, rebounding strongly from past challenges and developing a strong new vision for Tasmania’s energy future.
Hydro Tasmania’s underlying result for 2016-17 was a profit of $20.1 million, a significant turnaround after Hydro had to deal with drought and the Basslink outage in the previous financial year.
As promised, Hydro Tasmania has rebuilt storages and restored profitability after the energy supply challenge of 2015-16.
Hydro Tasmania comfortably exceeded a storage target of 30 per cent at the end of June 2017, and is currently well in excess of the 40 per cent target for the start of summer with dam levels now at 47.7 percent.
The results for Aurora Energy last financial year also demonstrate a strong, efficient, customer-focussed business.
Aurora Energy recorded a profit after tax of $19.4 million and delivered $35.4 million in returns to the Tasmanian Government.
Aurora Energy also coordinated the hugely successful $20 million Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS), that is providing no-interest finance of up to $10,000 for households and $40,000 for small businesses to invest in energy efficient products.
Through our energy businesses we are putting Tasmania first. This means secure supply for Tasmania and the lowest possible electricity prices for Tasmanians will be the number one priority.
We have taken action to cap regulated power prices, help protect Tasmanian businesses from soaring wholesale prices on the mainland by reducing the cost of wholesale electricity by about 20 per cent and providing rebates to eligible customers to further reduce the price impact.
I look forward to having more to say in the near future about how our Tasmania First policy will help deliver further power price relief.
Guy Barnett, Minister for Energy