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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1797 ..

(4) What frequency of interruptions to electricity supply to a particular suburb or area is considered acceptable.

(5) What is the average duration of electricity interruption in the ACT.

Mr Quinlan: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Information regarding electricity outages that have occurred in the ACT in 2001 and 2002 is summarised in attachments A, B and C.

(2) ActewAGL has undertaken a range of maintenance works to maintain and upgrade the infrastructure. A major program is the inspection and replacement of poles. Aged wooden poles are identified and replaced with new wooden, steel or concrete poles according to the surrounding environment. In 2001, ActewAGL replaced poles in 64 suburbs (Attachment D).

Other activities include regular network and substation services, maintenance and upgrades of switch gears and augmentation of sections of network to meet increasing demands.

(3) So far in 2002 ActewAGL has replaced poles in 30 suburbs, has undertaken inspections in another 20 suburbs where poles have been identified for replacement, and will be performing inspections in another 15 suburbs where it is likely a number of poles will be identified for replacement (Attachment D).

Besides the pole replacement program, ActewAGL does not have any other structured programs for electricity upgrades. As mentioned above, other activities are carried out from time to time to upgrade sections of the network to meet increasing demands. Such demands are usually identified through new applications for supply and the monitoring of the network loading.

As part of ActewAGL's licence obligations, they have a target of no more than 1.2 supply interruptions each year for each customer. This target is an average across all customers, and gives an indication of the likely number of interruptions to supply that an average customer might experience.

Additionally, under the Consumer Protection Code, ActewAGL is required to take all reasonable and practicable steps to ensure that the supply of electricity from the electricity network to any single premises of a customer is not disrupted by more than 4 outages exceeding 240 minutes each outage per year.

Because of the integrated and dynamic nature of the electricity network and the effects of infrastructure designs within individual suburbs, it is not practicable to set interruption targets on an individual suburb basis. The industry operates on the basis of average performance across the network. The network wide target is 1.2 interruptions per annum.

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