The energy industry today welcomed the Western Australian State budget's recognition that electricity prices needed to reflect the real costs of supply.
The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Matthew Warren, said “cost reflective pricing for energy is long overdue in WA. First it will be fairer, as big energy users will no longer be subsidised by more frugal ones.
“Price rises are never welcomed by customers but this change reflects the removal of electricity subsidies that all taxpayers have had to bear. It also makes the true costs of supply power more transparent.
“Cost reflective tariffs will encourage new competitors into WA once the market is opened and will create clearer incentives for technologies that help customers to use energy more efficiently, while saving taxpayers hundreds of millions each year.
“Competition is the best way to put a lid on price rises in the longer term as customers are offered better deals for energy. It will become even more important given the growth of new consumer energy technologies that can help consumers save money,” Mr Warren said
Mr Warren also welcomed the package of support measures for the elderly and vulnerable customers that would offset the electricity price increase. "The increase in the Energy Assistance Payment and the extra funding for the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme represent a more targeted approach to supporting those who need help with their electricity bills, rather than subsidising everyone," Mr Warren said.
About the Australian Energy Council
The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.
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