NSW electricity price reprieve
Those in New South Wales are about to experience a reprieve from some of the hefty electricity prices they have been facing of late, thanks to a new state-wide determination.
On June 18, minister for resources and energy Gary Gray welcomed a decision to ease electricity price rises from July this year.
It was NSW's Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) who released this decision.
"The tribunal has determined that regulated household electricity prices will increase by around 1.7 per cent this year - welcome news to consumers in New South Wales who have experienced price rises of nearly 70 per cent over the past four years," said Mr Gray.
"This change reflects reduced charges for poles and wires, which have been the main driver of increased costs in recent years."
These reforms were endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in December of last year. With their implementation, a step is being taken towards putting the focus back on customers and serving their needs rather than having to face inefficient regulation and harsh market conditions.
Now the consumer will have a stronger voice, rules and regulations have been strengthened and the industry is moving towards competition and deregulation.
In addition, the federal government has committed $23 million to boost the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) in its assessment of network proposals, as well as ensuring that electricity is being provided reliably and efficiently at the lowest possible cost.
NSW is also adopting the National Energy Customer Framework, meaning that consumers will benefit from more stringent protection mechanisms, and will have a greater amount of choice in regards to who supplies their energy from July 1.
"Combined, these reforms promote greater energy market competition and innovation, and robust consumer protections for the benefit of consumers," said Mr Gray.
IPART also noted that the carbon price is not affecting household power bills dramatically as some claim. For a typical NSW household, the contribution of the carbon price remains approximately $3.30 a week. This is covered by household assistance which averages $10.10 a week.
Through measures like this, it's clear that NSW is taking action to make sure the condition of the energy industry and electricity prices are fair towards the consumer while still allowing utilities to operative effectively.
Posted by Charlie Moore