|Founded||1 July 1998|
|Headquarters||Hobart, Tasmania, Australia|
|Rebecca Kardos (CEO)|
|Products||Retailer of electricity and natural gas|
|Revenue||A$1.56 billion (2012–13,)|
|A$84.5 million before tax (2012–13)|
Aurora was formed by the disaggregation of the Tasmanian Hydro Electric Commission (HEC) on 1 July 1998. Formed under the Electricity Companies Act 1997, Aurora is subject to the Corporations Act 2001. The company is wholly owned by the Government of Tasmania, with its two shareholders being the Minister for Energy and Resources, and the Treasurer.
The division of the HEC resulted in the creation of three companies – Hydro Tasmania which generates the power, Transend Networks which transmits it across the state, and Aurora Energy, the distribution and retail arm, which sells and distributes it to customers. This was in anticipation of Tasmania joining the National Electricity Market (NEM), which opened up the market to competitors.
A subsidiary company, Aurora Energy (Tamar Valley) Pty Ltd, trading as AETV Power, owned and operated the Tamar Valley Power Station in northern Tasmania using natural gas that is piped in from Victoria to generate electricity. From 1 June 2013, the power station, its customers and associated contracts have transferred to Hydro Tasmania.
In September 2004, Aurora secured naming rights to Launceston Australian rules football stadium York Park. The stadium was known as Aurora Stadium until 2016, after which the University of Tasmania took over the naming rights.
In late 2005, Aurora began trialling Aurora Pay As You Go, pre-paid electricity to selected areas of Adelaide. This system involved the Payguard meter, known as a smart meter. The official launch of the product, due to the success of the trial, went ahead in May 2007 making Aurora Energy the first electricity retailer to offer the pre-payment option in South Australia. This coincided with the 10-year birthday celebration of Aurora Pay As You Go in the State of Tasmania.
In 2012, Aurora failed in its application to the Energy Regulator for electricity price increases of 15.5% over the following 5 years for infrastructure investment and Carbon Tax implications. Instead, the Regulator limited the price rise to just 1.4% per year up to 2017. One result from this was analysis of the current structure and subsequent re-structure of the business. Over the following years, a complete re-structure was implemented throughout the whole business, resulting in hundreds of redundancies throughout the business, from field worker level right through to upper management.
Retail contestability was introduced for very large customers in 2006, and in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011, additional, progressively smaller consumers of electricity were opened up for competition with Aurora.
2013 saw Aurora readying itself for the introduction of full retail contestability, including the separation of the retail arm from the rest of the business, and readying that retail arm for the tendered sale of the customer base to two or three private enterprises in late 2013, with sale date to be 1 January 2014. The market would then be opened for additional retailers to compete for customers from 1 July 2014. As the result of a Government funded study, it was found that there would not be a benefit to the consumer at that point, and the tendering process was aborted. Although the sale of the customer base did not go ahead, the date of full retail contestability remained at 1 July 2014, and the market is now open for other entities to compete for all customers.
As a result of the prior re-structuring, Aurora delivered a bonus to the consumer with an average 5% drop in the price of electricity.
The non-retail sections of Aurora Energy merged with Transend Networks on 1 July 2014 to become TasNetworks. The retail arm of Aurora retained its original name and continues retailing electricity in the state.
- "Aurora Energy Corporate Profile 2013" (PDF). Aurora Energy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- Clark, Nick (22 October 2016). "University of Tasmania kicks big goals as naming rights sponsor of York Park". The Mercury. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "Power prices fears after Aurora sale falls over". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- "Tasmania throws switch on retail energy competition". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.