THE average Tasmanian household will receive about $200 relief from the huge power price rises tipped to begin in July.
The welcome news was foreshadowed in the Sunday Tasmanian yesterday, and specific details were outlined by Premier Lara Giddings in Launceston yesterday.
Ms Giddings said forecast electricity price increases of up to 26 per cent in the next financial year were not acceptable.
This week, the Government will introduce legislation so households can avoid about half of the $400-plus increase feared.
“The State Government understood that the foreshadowed increase in the order of 23 to 26 per cent [from July 1] was a burden Tasmanian households could ill afford to bear, which is why we’ve taken action,” Ms Giddings said.
She said the price increase would now be in the range of 11 to 12 per cent, and on top of that people would benefit from federal carbon tax compensation of about 5 per cent.
Tasmanian Council of Social Service president Noel Mundy said anything that would help people on low incomes was good news.
“The only issue obviously is [potentially] reducing the government spending on other services, but the bottom line is that we welcome the announcement,” Mr Mundy said.
But Liberal energy spokesman Matthew Groom said the announcement was a power price rise statement in disguise.
“The decision to change the pricing has been forced on the Government because the expert panel has caught it out ripping off households and businesses,” Mr Groom said.
“Even with the new arrangements, Tasmanians will be hit with an increase of up to 14 per cent on 1 July. This is nothing more than cynical gloss.”
Mr Groom also said efficiencies to be secured from Aurora and Transend should have happened much earlier, showing a failure of government oversight.
Ms Giddings said the legislation would reduce the wholesale cost of energy, which would limit price increases.
“This will immediately wipe off 7 per cent of the price increase,” she said.
Energy Minister Bryan Green said the cost to the state’s energy businesses would be offset by future returns from the Federal Government’s carbon pricing policy.
He said the July 1 forecast rise would be reduced by another 2 per cent after a decision by the Australian Energy Regulator to average out charges relating to expenditure on poles and wires assets into the next regulatory period.
Transend has also adjusted its revenue and cost forecasts, bringing another 3 per cent reduction in expected rises.
Ms Giddings said there would be a cost, which would be detailed tomorrow. Concessions also would be extended to many Tasmanians.
Ms Giddings hinted the carbon refund available to the state because of its reliance on renewable power would bring a much-needed boost that would be detailed in the State Budget on Thursday.
Well here we are not even a year from the last price rise and surprise, surprise Aurora want yet another 26% Now with the spin of the Government they are claiming they have saved the Tasmanian people 15% saving! Hows that for telling you that you are better off, but hang on I’ll be paying yet a further 11% on top of the existing over priced rate & standing charges. Where’s the so called “Independent” regulator during all this?
Now with the introduction of the “” Tasmania is supposed to be better off due to our renewable hydro electric scheme. But for some reason Tasmanians will be slugged by Aurora a fee to cover carbon tax? (if you can make sense of that then you’re doing better than me!)