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LGA locks in $13 million SAPN refund

The LGA has secured a determination from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) that confirms SA Power Networks (SAPN) has overcharged public lighting customers – including SA councils and their ratepayers, and the State Government – by more than $13 million.

As a result of this landmark decision, SAPN will need to repay this money in full to councils and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).

This determination is the outcome of a lengthy legal process initiated by the LGA and is primarily based on SAPN ‘over-recovering’ depreciation costs on its public lighting infrastructure.

LGA President Sam Telfer said this determination was an excellent outcome for South Australian ratepayers and taxpayers.

“This is money that should never have been charged by SAPN in the first place, so we are pleased that it will now be returned to SA councils and DPTI.”

“However, it is disappointing that the LGA had to spend several years pursuing this outcome through a costly process involving lawyers and the Australian Energy Regulator.”

Mayor Telfer said this was just one example of the LGA’s work to decrease power costs for councils.

“The LGA has also been working to negotiate future tariff pricing and the roll-out of energy efficient LED technology.  This process is expected to save councils between $10-30 million over the next five years.”

“Providing public lighting is a significant cost for local government but, by working together through the LGA, councils are able to access savings that benefit ratepayers and drive downward pressure on council rates.”

The LGA was advised by HWL Ebsworth Lawyers and Houston Kemp Economists.

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