Electricity prices for customers on the Mid North Coast have turned a corner and households and small businesses in regional NSW will see a decrease in prices for the first time in over a decade, compared with a 20.6% increase last year.
Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams said the average electricity price decrease of 0.7% will be welcome news for regional customers in the Essential Energy network area who have long-suffered under Labor’s double-digit price hikes.
“While this is not a huge reduction, it is a step in the right direction. After experiencing at least an 80% increase in power prices over the last five years, this week marks a turning point for electricity prices and for our local electricity customers.
“We have finally turned a corner – the O’Farrell/Stoner Government has brought spiralling prices under control and prices in the Essential Energy network area have actually started to fall,” Mrs Williams said.
“While many households are already struggling to manage high power bills, families can be confident that the days of Labor’s double-digit price hikes are over.”
Mrs Williams said the indicative price rises over the next three years determined by IPART have largely been driven by the NSW Government’s cap on network costs and ongoing reform of the distribution businesses.
“The NSW Government committed to capping rising network prices at CPI or below from 1 July after uncovering more than $2.5 billion in unnecessary capital expenditure and operating costs under Labor,” Mrs Williams said.
“Given network costs are responsible for approximately half the total power bill, the Government’s savings are having a very real impact. Essential Energy alone has to date made savings of more than $700 million by removing duplication, reducing its operating costs and capital expenditure, and cutting unnecessary spending.
“And the Government will continue to reduce costs and improve productivity in the Essential Energy network to deliver further savings to our local customers.
“IPART has confirmed that Labor’s carbon tax will continue to add a significant cost impost to household power bills, with green schemes adding approximately $332 to the average annual bill.
“Over 940,000 households are eligible to receive a NSW Government rebate. The money is there, the assistance is available and the Government wants eligible households to take advantage of this funding,” Mrs Williams said.
Information on rebates is available online at www.trade.nsw.gov.au/energy or by calling the Energy Information Line on 1300 136 888.
Posted on 3 Wed, July, 2013
by Leslie Williams