TASMANIAN households face an 11 per cent jump in power prices from the start of July.
Aurora Energy has applied to Tasmania’s Economic Regulator for a price increase of 10.97 per cent for residents including Pay as You Go customers and small businesses.
The Economic Regulator’s 2010 Retail Determination had previously estimated residential prices would increase by 8.5 per cent on July 1.
Aurora Energy CEO Peter Davis conceded the Economic Regulator may not give Aurora the full increase it was seeking.
But if it did it would equate to a $28 increase a quarter for a low -energy use household, $45 increase a quarter of medium users, and $70 a quarter for high-energy users.
Dr Davis said the increase was to pay for investment in the electricity transmission and distribution systems and extra costs arising from the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target schemes which required all Australian energy retailers to buy an increasing amount of energy certificates from new, renewable sources such as rooftop solar installations.
“Aurora is acutely aware of the impact of price rises on our customers and has embarked on an unprecedented business wide efficiency drive that has already delivered significant reductions, as demonstrated by Aurora’s proposal for its distribution system submitted last week,” he said.
Aurora Energy has said new technology, job cuts and pushing its equipment a bit harder with further investment – a $588 million program to improve capacity and reliability – could limit price rises from 2013.
Dr Davis said Tasmanians could be confident the process on price increases was fair and they were not paying too much because the state had an independent regulator.
And he said the independent expert panel examining the energy industry in Tasmania had noted electricity prices in the state remained about “middle of the pack”.
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