Opposition leader says privatising energy may increase electricity prices

It was always going to be controversial, but now the New South Wales opposition leader John Robertson has called on the government to scrap its plans to sell the state-owned electricity generators.

The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader reports that the Labor party is concerned further privatisation could hurt pensioners.

"Privatising electricity is a disaster for pensioners who tirelessly scrimp and save on fixed incomes," said Mr Robertson.

"Surrendering the government's leverage on electricity prices will leave residents at the mercy of the private market."

But representatives for the government made it clear that energy reform was part of a broader plan to make the state more competitive.

Energy minister Chris Hartcher said that plans were underway to sell the state's generators, electricity development sites and lease the Cobbora mine, in an attempt to place downward pressure on electricity prices.

"We remain committed to implementing efficiencies and improving competition in the electricity sector to help place downward pressure on power prices for NSW households," he asserted.

And while it is unclear whether this policy position will have a positive impact on prices, in countries such as the UK the implementation of similar plans have led to significant cost increases for some consumers.

Posted by Charlie Moore