Citizens of New South Wales will have to dish out a larger amount for their electricity bills. Shortly following the price hike of 22% in July this year, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is further recommending an increase of 44% to 62% over the next 3 years. In its draft, the Tribunal has suggested a phased increase in electricity bills to be collected over the next 3 years. The worst hit, if this recommendation is passed, will be customers of Country Energy who will see a surge of 62% in their bills amounting to nearly $893 more by 2013.
An Energy Australia customer will pay around $727 more in 2013 and for an Integral Energy user, this amount will be $554. The funding is proposed to be used for two things, first and foremost, being the up-gradation and repair of networks (amounting to 90% of collections) and the other being the ETS (Emission Trading Scheme), the buzz word these days. The latter is the brainchild of Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and has been rejected by the Senate once. However, with plans to place it before the Parliament, Prime Minister Rudd and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong are determined to see it through.
IPART CEO, James Cox, is reserving his comments until the Tribunal reaches a decision next year though he did mention that the increased rates will be adjusted in case of changes to the ETS.