New South Wales residents will start paying from 46 to 64 per cent more for their electricity in three years’ time, according to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) final determination released yesterday.
As a result the average NSW electricity bill would increase by $577 to $918 per year in 2013, depending upon where you reside.
Around half of the approved power price rises is attributed to increases in network charges to fund new investment in infrastructure and improvements in the electricity network’s reliability.
More significant, however, is the fact that close to half of the price increase is due to the inclusion of the expected costs of operating under the Federal Government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). This is the first time that the cost of reducing carbon emissions has been factored explicitly into retail energy tariffs.
It is important to note, however, that should the CPRS (or its equivalent) fail to be implemented within the next three years, IPART says that the CPRS-related price increases will not be passed on to consumers. This would reduce the price increases to a slightly more palatable 20 to 42 per cent.
- If you live in Country Energy’s network area, which covers regional and rural areas of NSW, you will see the greatest increase in your electricity bills of 64 per cent or $918 per year in 2013 if the CPRS is implemented as planned (or $601 per year if CPRS is not implemented).
- If you live in Energy Australia’s network area, which includes the Sydney CBD and suburbs, you will see a rise 0f 60 per cent or $754 per annum in 2013 if the CPRS is implemented as planned (or $448 per year if CPRS is not implemented).
- If you live in Integral Energy’s network area, which includes Sydney’s Greater West, the Southern Highlands and Illawarra, you will see the lowest price increase 0f 46 per cent or $577 per annum in 2013 if the CPRS is implemented as planned (or $246 per year if CPRS is not implemented).
These substantial price rises are likely to refocus consumers’ attention to finding ways to reduce their energy use at home or buy a greater proportion of their energy from renewable sources. Of course, this is the main reason for the CPRS in the first place.
As power and gas bills eat up more and more of your family budget it is more important than ever to shop around and compare electricity and gas prices.