Energy regulator planning large scale price increases

Over the past few months, details have been slowly emerging of the plans that the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has to impose electricity price increases across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

The proposed price increases are to the 'delivery' component of the electricity bills that customers receive.

Over the next 5 years the large scale electricity price increases look like this:

  • New South Wales: 55 per cent increase (19 per cent in July 2010, and a further 36 per cent between 2011-2015)
  • Queensland: 64 - 87 per cent increase (increase depends on electricity network)
  • South Australia: 35 per cent increase
  • Victoria: 57 per cent increase

The AER's proposals will effectively allow the network operator to increase the charges it passes on to Australia's electricity retailers, and in turn the retailers' business and residential customers.  

The Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) is less than happy about these large scale price increases, and has pointed to research suggesting that with effective regulation and privatisation of these distribution networks, energy users should see far less severe price increase.

Make It Cheaper says: "There will always be electricity price increases, and sadly business owners will become used to accepting this.  What's worse is when concerns are raised around the legitimacy of price increase, especially when there is a consensus amongst respected industry bodies and researchers that they may not be necessary."

"The AER must provide electricity customers with the confidence that any proposed price increases are fair, and that everything is being done by the regulator to reduce the impact of potential price increases on the end consumer."

"Creating a competitive market environment is key, allowing companies to compete across the range of services required to get electricity to the end customer.  Get that right, and the Australian business owner will benefit with more competitive prices from their energy retailer."