Electricity prices expected to rise up to 20%

A diagram from the AEMC Electricity Price Trends Report
A diagram from the AEMC Electricity Price Trends Report AEMC Electricity Price Trends Report

AVERAGE household power bills have risen about 14% in the year to June - with further 3% increases expected each year to 2015, the latest electricity price trends report revealed on Friday.

The annual electricity price update from the Australian Energy Market Commission showed Queenslanders could expect to pay 16% more by June than they did last financial year.

New South Wales consumers can expect to pay 20% more by June this year.

While some of the household price rises were attributed to the carbon tax, those costs were expected to moderate, with the majority of the current increases more to do with transmission costs.AEMC chairman John Pierce said while the average retail power cost was expected to rise 14% in the 2012-13 year, trends showed costs were expected to flatten in the following years.

"Network prices will continue to drive the total prices paid by households, but as investment needs are progressively re-assessed this may lead to lower network costs," he said.

"If current trends continue, overall wholesale prices are expected to remain flat, and we expect retail costs to flatten as well."

But the real increases expected varied across states and territories, with Queensland prices expected to rise 16% by June, with a further 9% total increase by June 2015.

In NSW, after a 20% rise this financial year, the average household power bill was expected to rise just 2% between June this year and June 2015.

Mr Pierce said the bulk of the future increases was due to network price rises, with varying impacts across states and territories.

"There are wide variations across the different states and territories but, on current trends, prices rise by an average 3.7 c/kWh this financial year, with that growth falling to less than 1 c/kWh on average for 2014 and 2015," he said.

The AEMC report did not take into account recent changes by different state governments in the individual policy approaches.

Topics:  electricity prices power bills

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