There’s no doubt electricity bills are one of the biggest strains on the family budget, which is why the NSW Government has been working overtime to provide relief for households across NSW.
I’m pleased to deliver some good news.
Over the coming weeks and months many households will see a decrease in their electricity bills as a result of our reforms to deregulate the retail electricity market.
Deregulating the retail electricity market will increase competition as electricity retailers will fight even harder to win your business with competitive market offers.
More than 65 per cent of electricity customers have already switched from the old regulated price to a competitive market offer.
From 1 July, the remaining regulated retail electricity customers were transferred to the transitional tariff which is 1.5 per cent lower than the 2013/14 regulated price.
The transitional tariff will give those customers immediate price relief and time to shop around for a competitive market offer which could save them even more.
In fact, the Australian Energy Marked Commission (AEMC) says customers on the regulated price who switch to a competitive market offer could save between $300 and $400 per year.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has worked hard to put an end to the double digit price increases we experienced under the former Labor Government.
We have identified $5.4 billion in network savings over five years. These are savings that will be passed onto NSW customers in the form of lower bills. Indeed, the network component of bills has decreased in 2014/15 by an average of 1.7 per cent.
I’m delighted we’ve been able to deliver electricity price decreases for the first time in more than a decade.
I encourage everyone to get active and find out whether they could be saving more money on their electricity bills.
All you have to do is visit the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) website www.energymadeeasy.gov.au for a free and independent price comparison of retail electricity offers in your area.
As part of this reform, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) will move from setting the regulated price to monitoring competition in the marketplace. It will report back to Government each year for the next three years.
The removal of retail electricity price regulation will not change consumer protection laws, the quality of electricity supply or access to energy rebates.
In fact, we’ve delivered on our promise to increase energy rebates.
The Family Energy Rebate has risen from $125 per year to $150 per year from 1 July.
The Low Income Household Rebate and Medical Energy Rebate increased from $225 to $235 per year, and the Life Support Rebate is also available for any resident who uses eligible life sustaining medical equipment, with up to around $500 available per year.
We have also increased the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance scheme to more than $15 million to help customers stay connected to essential services during a short term financial crisis.
This will be provided through 290 community organisations across the State and is in addition to the energy rebates that are available.
To find out more information about the NSW Government’s Energy Rebates visit resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au or call Service NSW on 13 77 88.
Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Newspaper in Sydney)