ERGON Energy yesterday briefed its industry unions on a proposal to reduce employees by about 500 by June 2013.
The power provider has significantly reduced its capital and operational expenditure for the current regulatory period because electricity consumption and peak demand are well below forecast levels and demand for customer network connections is also expected to remain suppressed until 2015.
Ergon Energy southern corporate communications Rod Reihbein said the reduced forward works program meant fewer people were needed to deliver and support the program and Ergon Energy had to make some difficult decisions.
"Employees covered by Ergon's industrial agreement remain covered by a no forced redundancy provision under which, where an employee's role is made redundant, they have the option to remain with Ergon Energy and seek redeployment," he said.
"Ergon Energy aims to limit future increases in average network charges to CPI or less by 2020 and to 1% less than CPI by 2025 to minimise the impact on electricity prices and seriously address customers' affordability concerns.
"We don't believe it will impact on our ability to service customers and respond in times of disaster and Ergon Energy will continue to maintain frontline services to customers.
"It is too early at this stage to indicate how the reduced employee numbers will be spread across the state."