Progressing reform of Tasmaniaâ€™s electricity industry Fri 22 February 2013 Bryan Green Deputy Premier The Deputy Premier Bryan Green today announced the next major step in the overhaul of Tasmania's electricity industry to limit future power price increases. Mr Green said a new board will be appointed to oversee the merger of Aurora Energy and Transend to run the transmission and distribution of electricity. The new single State-owned company is expected to be operating by July 1, 2014 saving at least $8 million a year. "Combining these businesses will create a more efficient and effective business and help deliver the lowest possible electricity prices for Tasmanians," Mr Green said. Mr Green said the Government was moving immediately to recruit an independent chair to facilitate the merger of Aurora and Transend. The board would also include two directors from each of the current boards. "We want this to be a seamless transition for employees of the two businesses with the new board to determine the best operating model and ensure the business is fully operational by July 1 next year. "The energy reforms the Government is implementing are about delivering real benefits to Tasmanians while ensuring we maintain secure and reliable electricity supplies. Mr Green said the Government was also on track to introduce full retail competition and choice for consumers from January next year. "One of the Government's clear objectives is to ensure we have the lowest possible prices for households and small business. "Tasmania is ahead of the game as other governments around Australia grapple with rising electricity costs and the growing demands on their energy infrastructure. Mr Green said he was committed to providing certainty for Aurora and Transend employees as quickly as possible. "Foremost in my mind is retaining the talent and expertise in our highly skilled electricity sector and treating all employees fairly. "All employees will be kept fully informed as we move through this process. Mr Green said a dedicated project team has been working on the Government's energy reforms announced in May last year. "We are progressing some of the biggest changes we have seen to our electricity industry. Mr Green said the sale of Aurora's customer base is on track to start by the middle of year, paving the way for retail competition for Tasmanian households. "The reforms will deliver real benefits to Tasmanians while maintaining our core generating capability through Hydro Tasmania and the electricity network in public hands," Mr Green said.