Gas up a lot, electricity up a little. Nearly $300 a year more on average

gas flame

ACTEWAGL have announced big price rises for electricity and gas.

ActewAGL General Manager Ayesha Razzaq said “From 1 July 2014, there will also be a 14.5 per cent increase in ACT gas prices. For an average Canberra family using 47.5 GJ a year, this change adds approximately $4.10 a week. This is significantly less than the average 17.2 per cent increase that was announced for NSW earlier this week. The primary driver of this change is the increasing influence of international markets on Australia’s gas prices.”

In the event that the carbon price is removed, the decrease in price will be passed onto our customers in full.

As for electricity prices she is passing on the blame for the electricity saying “this change is mostly the result of an increase in network costs following a rise in transmission costs and the introduction of the large-scale solar facility supported by a feed-in tariff scheme.”

The Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission has made the direction on the electricity price.

It is a 4.3 per cent increase to the regulated electricity prices from 1 July 2014. For an average Canberra family that uses 8,000 kWh of electricity per year, this will equate to $1.63 a week.

“We understand that an increase in prices is never good news. But rest assured that we will be continuing to bring Canberrans the cheapest electricity prices in Australia,” Ayesha said.

The Liberals’ Brendan Smyth has been quick off the mark to lay blame.

“It is irresponsible of the government to be driving up electricity prices by 4.3 percent at a time when the cost of living is skyrocketing,” Brendan said.

“This is off the back of an ACT Budget which will drive up:

  • General rates by 10 percent.

  • Household utility costs by 7 percent.
  • Motor vehicle registration by 6 percent.
  • Emergency services levy for households by 8 percent.

“The ICRC also singled out the federal carbon tax for inflating electricity prices by 7.3 percent and that its removal would wipe $143 off the cost of an annual bill.

“It is now abundantly clear that both Federal Labor and ACT Labor have little regard for Canberra family budgets,” Mr Smyth concluded.

[Photo by jasonwoodhead23, attribution licence]


UPDATE: Simon Corbell has announced that the ICRC has erred:

Electricity prices set today by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission reflect the ACT Government’s longer term forecasting, but have not taken current circumstances into full consideration, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, said today.

“The ICRC has factored in the flow-through costs to consumers of the feed-in-tariff for all three large-scale solar farms approved under the ACT’s solar auction process in 2012 and 2013 although two farms are not yet operational,” Mr Corbell said.

“While the Royalla Solar Farm is expected to start producing electricity for the grid in a few months, the proposed Mugga Lane and Uriarra solar farms will not be producing electricity before the ICRC’s next scheduled price determination next year.

“The ICRC’s electricity price decision for the pass-through costs would cost an ACT household with average electricity consumption around $23.85 per year, or 46c per week, but if it was factored on the Royalla solar farm alone, we would have expected around $9.93 per year or 19c per week – less than half the actual cost.

“The good news is that the over allowance will be factored into next year’s electricity price determination, adjusting prices accordingly,” Mr Corbell said.

In the meantime he suggests making your house more energy efficient.

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