NSW braced for higher electricity prices

13th Apr 2012

People of New South Wales, brace yourselves for a bumpy ride – electricity prices look set to increase even further.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), which is responsible for regulating the cost of energy in the state, suggests you should be ready for a 16 per cent price rise.

Not the best news to end the week with.

But how can retailers justify taking more money out of our already strained pockets? Apparently it's all down to rising network costs and carbon pricing.

The latter does exactly what it says on the tin by imposing a price on carbon to help give the environment a boost – sounds great in theory, but maybe not so much when we're the ones who end up paying.

It is worth noting, however, that not all of you will face the same price rise – after all, the IPART figure is simply an average.

Here comes the mathematical part.

For those of you receiving electricity from EnergyAustralia, a 19.2 per cent rise is predicted, which in real terms will add around $338 per year to your bills.

Integral Energy customers, on the other hand, are set to experience a 10.3 per cent increase, adding $182 to your annual bill.

Lastly, Country Energy customers can expect a 17.6 per cent rise as of July 1, leaving them $381 worse off.

As you can probably imagine, this announcement has not gone down well with many people, including the Clean Energy Council (CEC).

The body, which represents Australia's clean energy sector, was keen to point out that the rises could put "billions of dollars of renewable energy investment at risk".

The CEC is particularly annoyed by the threat to the 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target, which aims to make a fifth of our electricity supply comes from renewable sources by 2020.

Chief executive Kane Thornton explained that wind and solar power have not played a role in these rising energy prices, yet their uptake is being threatened by these recommendations.

Kate continued: "This is a case of short term politics trumping important long-term change that will benefit everyone, and it's a knee jerk reaction that is bad for investment and bad for jobs.

"You can't just turn major policies on and off like a light switch."

This debate is likely to rage for some time before these price rises come into effect. Perhaps we'd best leave it to the big guys.

Posted by Bob Dawson


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