National policy uncertainty leading to high wholesale prices
A final decision from the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) is likely to result in an increase in electricity prices in the ACT of 14.29% from 1 July 2018.
“Today’s proposed electricity price increase is largely a result of rising wholesale prices. Due to a lack of market certainty, under investment in power generation is leading to a shortfall in supply,” said Geoffrey Rutledge, Deputy Director General, Sustainability and the Built Environment today.
“The ACT is part of a National Electricity Market, and the bulk of today’s announced increase is outside the control of the ACT Government. However, ACT households and businesses will continue to have some of the lowest cost and most reliable electricity supplies in country. Canberrans will still be paying hundreds of dollars less per year compared to our neighbours in New South Wales.
“The ACT’s renewable energy scheme costs will also remain well below the $5.50 per household per week previously estimated, and the Government remains confident that this will decline after peaking in 2020.
“The ACT Government knows that Australia’s energy future is renewables – that’s why we continue to invest in sustainable electricity generation, and why we are leading the nation with our decisive and forward-thinking energy policy.
“The ACT Government will again join with ActewAGL to provide a support fund of $500,000 for Canberrans struggling with their power bills. The ACT Government will work with ActewAGL to ensure this fund provides maximum support to Canberrans that will need it the most.
“I also encourage consumers to talk to their energy provider about getting the best deal to meet their needs, or to shop around for a better offer. Last year the St Vincent de Paul Society found that Canberrans could save over $200 on their electricity costs simply by switching to a lower priced plan. Online comparator tools like www.energymadeeasy.gov.au are available to help customers check that they are on the best electricity plan for them.
“Saving energy has never been more cost effective. The ACT Government’s Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme has assisted over 71,000 households and businesses, including 18,000 low income priority households, to cut their energy bills.
“The ACT Government also provides a range of free information, tools and advice through the ActSmart Program to assist households and businesses to manage their energy costs. Visit www.actsmart.act.gov.au or call 13 22 81 for information and advice on the energy savings opportunities available.”
Mr Rutledge said that from 1 July, the Utilities Concession for eligible low income households increases from $604 to $654 per year to assist with electricity costs.
- Statement ends -
Section: ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate | Media Releases
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