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Hartcher affirms commitment to reduce energy costs

New South Wales energy minister Chris Hartcher said on Wednesday (November 7) that the concerns about the state's energy sector raised in the auditor-general's report, are concerns that the government has been focused on since it took office.

The analysis found that a key factor in electricity price rises is rising network charges which were confirmed in by the former state Labor government.

"Former energy minister Frank Sartor locked in higher reliability standards and increased network charges from 2009-2014, while recklessly failing to manage the increased investment to avoid harsh impacts on household bills," Hartcher said.

He added that as a result of this, power bills in the last five years have increased by 80 per cent and pushes wire and pole charges for electricity customers across the state.

Hartcher has recommitted his government to doing what it can to prevent price rises from continuing at the rate they have previously.

The government has implemented a number of schemes to reduce costs for consumers including rebates, capping dividends, reviewing reliability standards and dismantling Labor's solar bonus scheme.

Mr Hartcher said that while there are federal issues that affect electricity prices which the O'Farrell government can't control - they are dedicated to doing everything they can under their jurisdiction to reduce costs.

Posted by Charlie Moore