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Electricity Prices Increase For Consumer

Tuesday, 13th November 2012

Electricity increases took effect in New South Wales from 1 July this year. In New South Wales the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) announced in April in a preliminary report that electricity charges in NSW would increase from 1 July 2012 by around 16 percent. This was later amended to 18 percent by the final report.

IPART said that price increases were necessary because in recent years, electricity retailers’ costs have increased significantly and are expected to continue to rise in coming years. This is being driven primarily by the continuing rise in electricity network charges and the costs associated with green schemes.

IPART said these costs must be passed on to consumers in the form of increased electricity prices, if the retailers are to remain financially viable.

The final IPART report on the average prices that regulated electricity retailers in NSW can charge small customers states regulated retail electricity prices for the typical household would rise from 1 July 2012 by:

•    $364 per year (20.6 percent) for EnergyAustralia* residential customers
•    $208 per year (11.8percent) for Integral Energy* residential customers
•    $427 per year (19.7 percent)for Country Energy* residential customers

Note that EnergyAustralia is owned by TRUenergy and Integral Energy and Country Energy are owned by Origin Energy.

The New South Wales Government has also stated that electricity prices are rising as a result of the Commonwealth’s Carbon Tax, which it says will increase bills by 8.9 percent, and network charges which will increase bills by 8.4 percent.

Network charges are the costs to maintain the electricity networks (the poles and wires). Other factors are a reduction in generation costs not including the carbon price (-0.8 percent) and an increase in retail costs of one percent.

IPART has found green schemes will consist of approximately $316 on an average household bill. This includes:

•    The Commonwealth’s Carbon Tax ($168)
•    Renewable Energy Targets (small and large scale) ($102)
•    NSW Energy Savings Scheme ($13)
•    NSW Climate Change Levy ($34) to fund the Solar Bonus Scheme

More information is available on IPART’s website at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au.  

The NSW Government has introduced a new $75 Family Energy Rebate from 1 July 2012 which will rise to $150 by 1 July 2014. The Low Income Household Rebate also increased to $215 from 1 July 2012.

Those eligible will be able to apply for the Family Energy Rebate as well as the Low Income Household Rebate, however, the combined rebates will be capped at $250 per annum, per household. There are also a range of other measures to help with energy bills. More information about this assistance is available online at www.trade.nsw.gov.au.

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