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Politics Random Ramblings

Greed and spineless regulator…

Well it’s now officially been passed by the government regulator for this to go ahead. Never has this regulator refused a request put before them, regulator or sock puppet?

POWER bills will rise by 11 per cent next month after the Tasmanian Economic Regulator yesterday signed off on a request from Aurora for the price jump.

Premier Lara Giddings acknowledged the rise would cause pain for many and she vowed to offer higher concessions in line with the price hike to the most disadvantaged Tasmanians.

She said she understood that many in the community would find the price rise a struggle and she would find money in the Budget for concessions.

“We will try to alleviate that struggle and pain for Tasmanians,” Ms Giddings said.

“I do understand that this is not a good day.”

The rise equates to a $28 increase a quarter for low-energy-use households, a $45 increase a quarter for medium users and a $70 a quarter increase for high energy users.

The 11 per cent rise is higher than the 8.5 per cent the Tasmanian Economic Regulator estimated when it made its prices forecast last year.

But regulator Glenn Appleyard said the extra 2.5 per cent reflected costs outside Aurora’s control.

Aurora has said the rise is needed to pay for investment in transmission and distribution systems and extra costs arising from the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target schemes.

Mr Appleyard said actual network charges accounted for about 2 per cent of the rise and the remainder was the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.

The rise, which comes into effect on July 1 for households and businesses, was blasted by the Tasmanian Liberals.

Opposition energy spokesman Matthew Groom said power prices were spiralling out of control and the latest rise would “push many Tasmanians over the edge”.

“While the Green-Labor Government is sitting back doing nothing, the Tasmanian Liberals believe that the state needs competition in the energy sector to put downward pressure on power prices,” Mr Groom said.

Ms Giddings said the Government would come to the aid of Aurora’s 79,000 concession customers.

“What we are doing as a Government is trying to ensure we can support those people who are struggling to pay those bills,” Ms Giddings said.

Article sourced from The Mercury Hobart

By Scott Evans

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