Two complementary measures developed during the PBSP program – SAPS Trial and the strengthened f-factor Incentive Scheme – provide further opportunities to secure additional safety benefits for Victorians.

Stand Alone Power System (SAPS) Trial

Extending independent power to reduce bushfire risk

The SAPS grant was launched in May 2017 as a trial program. It offered a SAPS to pre-selected households at the end of bare-wire high-voltage powerlines. The households in the program were located within Powercor’s electricity distribution network across western regional Victoria.

The SAPS enabled landowners to be completely independent of the electricity grid. It reduced bushfire risk by enabling the permanent removal of high voltage powerlines.

Uptake of the trial was on a voluntary basis with three residencies taking up the grant. Works included the removal of 4.4 km single-wire earth return (SWER) powerlines at the end-of-the-line. This provided the households with an individually tailored SAPS to suit their energy needs and the unique requirements of their property.  

The SAPS trial has closed with the successful installation at the three properties in time for the 2018-19 summer season.

f-factor Incentive Scheme

More safeguards to stop powerlines causing fires

The f-factor Incentive Scheme is a regulatory instrument under the National Electricity (Victoria) Act 2005. It is designed to incentivise electricity network operators to focus on areas and times of the year where powerline ignitions pose the greatest bushfire risk.

The Victorian Government introduced the original f-factor scheme in 2012. It was one of several measures in response to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. The original f-factor scheme provided electricity distributors with a flat incentive for each ignition.

In 2016, the f-factor Scheme was substantially enhanced. It applied a more targeted risk incentive to assist in the delivery of operational improvements to the highest bushfire risk areas of the state.

The strengthened f-factor Scheme applies more stringent performance benchmarks and reporting obligations. These processes provide a means of ensuring efficient investment in network assets to reduce risk to the community.

Page last updated: 03/08/20