Well this comes as no surprise!
THE honeymoon period for Aurora customers is to come to an end, with electricity disconnections set to more than double in Tasmania in the next 12 months.
Aurora had given Tasmanian customers a four-month amnesty on disconnections as they rolled out a new billing system in the last half of this year.
However, the company has warned it will soon be operating like energy companies in other states, which have been disconnecting customers at a growing rate.
In Victoria, 24,000 households had their power cut off in the past year — a 33 per cent increase from 2011. Disconnections in South Australia have grown by 38 per cent, Queensland 20 per cent, and New South Wales 25 per cent.
Aurora spokesman Richard Wilson said the company expected 2000 disconnections next year — double the average of 1000 disconnections a year for the past two years.
Only 226 Aurora customers lost their power in 2011-12 because of the four-month amnesty on disconnections to allow a new billing system to be installed, Mr Wilson said.
Disconnections dropped from 998 in 2010-11 to 226 in 2011-12. Of these, 178 were residential customers and 11 were businesses.
Mr Wilson said making regular payments through a payment plan was the best way to avoid a disconnection.
“Disconnections are the worst outcome for everyone but especially for the customer,” he said. “It affects their credit rating and they lose their electricity supply.”
Mr Wilson said the company had arranged 2490 payment plans in the last quarter.
The increased disconnections will come as a blow to the State Government, which is set to sell Aurora customers at the end of the year into a full retail contestable market.
Energy expert Frontier Economics director Danny Price told the Mercury in late October concerns about the credit ratings of Aurora customers and Aurora’s market monopoly were scaring off energy retailers.
He said the sale of energy customers on the mainland had generated about $1000 to $1500 per customer but Aurora would be lucky to get $300 per customer.
Now as Tasmanians have no option but to use Aurora and with power prices having more than doubled over the last few years. Aurora’s subsidiary Momentum offering power to Victorian households at nearly half the price of what Tasmanians get from Aurora, it’s no wonder why we’re mad at all the bullshit that the Tasmanian Government keep telling us that having a closed market is better for us… :/
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