By NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell
Electricity price rises over the past decade have placed greater pressure on household budgets, however, there is relief in sight thanks to the NSW Liberals & Nationals commitment to reforming the electricity network.
Energy distribution businesses recently submitted pricing proposals with the Australian Energy Regulator, which is responsible for determining any price rises that could take effect in July this year.
I’m pleased to see that Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy have submitted prudent investment proposals that would enable them to deliver electricity bill increases below the Consumer Price Index for the 2014/15 financial year.
The pricing proposals that have been put forward show that our reforms are working to take some of the pressure off businesses and deliver cost-of-living relief to hardworking NSW families.
It the proposals are accepted by the energy regulator, it would be the first time since the turn of the century that households experience two successive annual reduction costs, in real terms.
This would be a welcome break for power customers in NSW who were slugged with double-digit electricity price rises under NSW Labor.
Under Labor, electricity prices rose by more than 60 per cent in just five years.
During 2009/10 alone – the year the current opposition leader, John Robertson, was Energy Minister for eight months – families in NSW were hit with an annual increase of about 20 per cent.
Since 2011, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has implemented energy network reforms to reverse the trend and as a result, our plans are now coming to fruition and are being reflected in power bills.
Looking at the proposals put forward by Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy, their plans show capital spending by these three networks over the five year period to 2019 is down by 39 per cent, compared to the five years to 2014.
Since the electricity network accounts for about half of household electricity bills, these submissions will have a major downward impact on power bills – if the proposals are accepted by the electricity regulator.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will continue working to drive down the cost of electricity for families and businesses across NSW.