Electricity Prices To Rise In Western Australia (Again)

Electricity prices in Western Australia

“Western Australians set for lower increases in household bills,” says the WA Government. It was a curious way of telling people electricity will soon cost them more.

Western Australia’s 2018-19 Budget has been unveiled, revealing fees and charges for the average household will increase by 4.8 per cent (around $292) in 2018-19.

In relation to electricity costs specifically, these will rise by about 33 cents a day for the average household – so approximately another $121 a year.

This year’s rise (from July 1) will be 7%, compared to 10.9% last year.

“While some increases in household fees and charges are more than we would like, these increases are lower than last year and we have also worked hard to make them lower than expected in some cases,” said Treasurer Ben Wyatt.

That news of “lower increases” will be cold comfort to those already struggling to make ends meet.

Electricity Price Rises Fuel Solar Uptake

Yet another electricity price rise and the continued availability of a still-generous solar subsidy will no doubt spur on more Western Australians to go solar, joining more than a quarter of a million other WA households and businesses that have already installed a solar power system.

According to the latest data available from the Clean Energy Regulator (current as at March 31), three of the top ten postcodes for solar installations in Australia (total numbers, not per capita) were in WA :

  • 6210 – Mandurah region – 11,489 systems
  • 6065 – Wanneroo region – 8,537 systems
  • 6155 – Canning Vale region – 7,176 systems

258,000+ solar systems across the state is an impressive figure, particularly given there were only a couple of hundred just over a decade ago. However, there’s still many rooftops in Western Australia bereft of panels that could be harvesting the energy of the sun to rein in power costs – and reducing energy related emissions as a bonus.

SolarQuotes’ latest Australian Solar Systems Interest Index (auSSII) indicates Western Australians requesting quotes for solar panels during April and who had a system size in mind were primarily interested in 5kw and 6kW systems. Approximately 93% were wanting either a “top quality” system or one that was a good mix of price and quality, with just around 7% requesting pricing on a “good budget system”.

In April, the majority of WA submitters reported having electricity bills of $500 or more per quarter; with more than 10% reporting quarterly power bills exceeding $1,000.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. It is interesting to note that the state treasurer has not advised that the Feed In Tariff will also increase correspondingly.

    No doubt, the members of the state parliament will pocket the difference.

    They appear to continue to get all of their rorts and their increases in rorts, in absolute contempt of the people of WA, like all legislatures in Australia – “Stick it to the people, and, pocket as much loot as possible”.

    It is notable that the last WA state government changed the state constitution (we, the people, are prohibited from doing that, due to the parliamentary dictatorship), to allow the parliament to increase the number of its members, as it sees fit, but, requiring a state referendum, to decrease the number of members of the parliament, and, the currenty government maintaiins the same policy – “Look after our mates in the parliament – we are all the same, in the parliament, regardless of our nominal parties, and, keep looting the state”.

    It is also interesting to note, that it has not been published, in relation to the state budget, that the state parliament has any plans to cover all of the metropolitan train stations’ roofspaces with appropriate orientations, with photovoltaic panels, to help provide for the current electric trains’ demand for electricity, and, to help provide energy for planned expansions of the electric trains services.

    But, then, such frivolities, as planning for the future, are beyond the capablities, and, interests, of the members of the legislatures – after all, why work for a living, when they can get rich by looting?

  2. I’m not so concerned about an increase in power prices – partly because I made an excellent investment 7 years ago that keeps looking better with every price rise, but also because I think power should be sufficiently expensive to provide better incentive to use it wisely. For years WA had electricity prices held artificially low, and consumption patterns evolved to take advantage of this – look at all of the black-roofed, eaveless McMansions for proof. The same applies with water – for ages water prices were so pifflingly low, any “save water” campaign fell largely on deaf ears.

    However I would much rather see prices increased by a tax which could then be used for specific initiatives like improving energy infrastructure etc. I don’t think much or any of that needs to be collected by the generators or distributors who are already paid handsomely.

    I’m not quite at the point of sharing the anti-MP feelings expressed by fellow WA citizens here… but I do agree that a long-term focus is generally lacking.

  3. By the way, our power bills in WA come every two months and not every quarter, or at least mine do.

  4. If I am not mistaken, our power costs have increased by more than 100% in recent years. Following this latest increase we are now (apparently) paying the ture cost of electricity supply. According to our treasurer, we needed to achieve this milestone before we could allow (invite) competition into the electricity supply market in WA. The theory is that this will then result in lower power costs for WA consumers. (But I’m not holding my breath – I think there was a similar theory on the other side of our country and I am not sure if consumers in the east have seen their power costs go down after the introduction of competiton).

    I can imagine that more people will now be looking at their options and doing their sums on solar (if they have any money left after paying their water bills and other essentials that our Leaders also decided to increase – while smiling for the cameras). As the uptake of Solar increases then, surely, the economics for new entrants into the electricity market just deteriorates. So our Treasurer will just put up charges even more to level the playing field again …… The policy seems to be well thought out.

    Save us!!!

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