Productivity commission overhauls energy sector

In a boon for consumers, a draft report by the Productivity Commission has recommended an overhaul of the regulation and ownership arrangements of electricity suppliers in a bid to reduce the cost for consumers.

The report found that the costs of the poles and wires that exist across the eastern half of the country are directly linked with electricity prices, and make up roughly 50 per cent of the average person's power bill.

Philip Weickhardt, the commissioner of the enquiry,said that while there is no easy answer, an overhaul of the regulatory framework will improve the way managers run their business and prevent customers from paying too much.

There was also a recommendation for more cost-based pricing rather than charging more for peak times when many people use energy, especially during hot summer spells.

In addition, the commission called for a privatisation of state-owned entities, as red tape from public ownership is affecting productivity. They also would like to see businesses rewarded for efficiency as motivation for improved customer service and product delivery.

If you feel your provider is not giving you the service you want or charging you too much, consider talking to a comparison and switching service so they can track down a better deal for you.

By Charlie Moore