Electricity bills to soar by up to 42.2% in just two years under O'Farrell

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The NSW Labor Opposition has called for the rules of the game to be changed in the National Electricity Market – as NSW families were today hit with up to a whopping 42.2 per cent electricity bill increase over just two years.

The electricity price increases announced by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) today comes on top of Barry O'Farrell passing on an 18.1 per cent electricity price hike on 1 July last year.

The total electricity bill increases under the O'Farrell Government will add between $424 and $743 to household electricity bills over two years.

Electricity Price Increases Under the O'Farrell Government:

 

2011/12 2012/13  O'Farrell total 
% (compounded) 
EnergyAustralia  $ 230.00  17.9%  $ 364.00  20.6%  $ 594.00  42.2% 
Integral Energy  $ 216.00  15.5%  $ 208.00  11.8%  $ 424.00  29.1% 
Country Energy  $ 316.00  18.1%  $ 427.00  19.7%  $ 743.00  41.4% 
Average  17.3%  18.0%  38.4% 

"Barry O'Farrell campaigned on putting downward pressure on the cost of living, but instead we are seeing electricity bills set to soar on his watch by up to 42 per cent over just two years," Shadow Energy Minister, Luke Foley said today.

"As NSW families prepare for skyrocketing electricity bills on Mr O'Farrell's watch, NSW Labor is calling for the rules of the game to be changed.

 "The National Electricity Objective should be changed to include reducing customer bills as an official objective of the National Electricity Market to ensure the priorities of retailers are not given preferential treatment.

 "Enough is enough. Today's huge price hike shows that the rules of the game are rigged against households."

 IPART Chairman, Dr Peter Boxall also backs changes to the National Electricity Objective:

 "There are aspects of the National Electricity Rules and the National Electricity Law that could be changed to reduce pressure on prices and to make sure that expenditure on the electricity network is efficient."

(IPART media release, 13 June 2012)

 "IPART's final pricing determination today also makes it clear that the O'Farrell Government is responsible for half of the electricity price increases that will take effect on 1 July," Mr Foley said.

"We need the Premier to finally tell the truth about the causes of electricity price rises and financially assist all NSW households given the State's contribution to rising prices.

"The Opposition proposes four additional ways in which the Premier can act to help NSW families.

 "First, instead of railing against the Commonwealth – which is compensating all families for the carbon price - NSW should follow suit and provide financial assistance to all households, given the State's contribution to rising prices.

 "Second, the Premier needs to drag the bosses of State owned energy distributors into his office and forensically audit their $14 billion capital expenditure to find out if gold plating is taking place, and if so, cut it back.

 "Third, the O'Farrell Government should honour its election promise to freeze electricity dividends and abandon its plans to rip hundreds of millions of dollars extra in dividends from Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy.

 "Finally, the State Government needs to scrap its plan to merge the three electricity distributors into one – which Treasury advice says is more likely to increase, rather than reduce, costs."