PUTTING A STOP TO DOUBLE-DIGIT PRICE HIKES: O’FARRELL GOVERNMENT REINS IN PRICE RISES FOR WESTERN SYDNEY HOUSEHOLDS
As part of the NSW Government’s six-year reform program of the State-owned distribution businesses, power prices for Western Sydney households have levelled with a proposed average price increase of 3.1% from 1 July for customers in the Endeavour Energy network, compared to an 11.8% increase last year.
Member for Lismore, Thomas George said the proposed rises in the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) 2013/14 draft pricing determination have been assisted by the Government’s cap on network costs, which has meant Endeavour Energy network charges are significantly below CPI for the first time in over a decade.
“Network costs are responsible for approximately half of a total power bill so the Government’s savings have had a real impact,” Thomas George said.
“The NSW Government committed to capping rising network prices at CPI or below from 1 July 2013 after uncovering more than $2.5 billion in unnecessary future capital expenditure and operating costs under Labor.
“As a result of the Government’s savings, Western Sydney customers have been spared the exorbitant price increases delivered under Labor.
“Today marks a turning point for electricity prices and for electricity customers across the State. We have turned a corner – prices have plateaued, and IPART expects prices to decline by 2015.
“And while we know that families are struggling to deal with already high power bills, households can be confident that the days of Labor’s double-digit price hikes are over.”
Thomas George said Endeavour Energy had already shaved $72.8 million from its business costs by reducing spending and operating costs while increasing efficiency - without compromising safety or the reliability of its network.
“And the Government will continue to reduce costs and improve productivity in Endeavour Energy’s network to deliver further savings to Northern Rivers customers,” he said.
Energy Minister Chris Hartcher said the carbon tax and green schemes continue to drive up prices with the cost impost increasing to $330 for the typical household 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,” Mr Hartcher said.