It’s not rocket science

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that the actions taken by the “Regulator” that you would have ended up with this problem! SERIOUSLY

TASMANIAN residential electricity costs were 5-10 per cent higher than the national average for low consumption customers, a report by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator says.

The performance of the energy supply industry in a 2011-12 report showed that not only did some Tasmanians pay higher prices but they generally paid for a larger amount of electricity.

Because of the cooler climate and a need for a greater amount of home heating Tasmanian consumption (9.33MWh) was significantly higher than that in South Australia (6.11MWh) and Victoria (5.6MWh).

The report said that at very low consumption levels residential costs were 5-10 per cent higher than the national average.

At high consumption the costs were comparable with a national average.

The report revealed that Tasmanians had been hit hard by electricity price rises and had trouble paying.

“Increases in the number of customers on payment plans, the number of customers experiencing difficulty in paying their bills and the number of customers defaulting on their agreed payments was concerning,” Tasmanian Economic Regulator chairman Glenn Appleyard said.

Several indicators suggested Tasmanians were having trouble paying bills in 2011-12:

THERE were 2762 customers on payment plans, compared to 1834 customers in the previous year.

AURORA Energy charged 120, 581 residential customers a late payment fee in 2011-12 compared to 103,505 the previous year.

THE total amount of residential late fees was $562,745 compared to $509,455 the previous year.

27,338 business customers were charged a late payment fee, increasing from 25,213 the previous year.

IN 2011-12 Aurora Energy assisted 2,433 customers to a total value of almost $326,000 compared to $281,435 the previous year.

Tasmania electricity prices have risen by 100 per cent since 2001.

Mr Appleyard said Tasmania’s lower than national average rise (10.56 per cent) on July 2012 meant households with high consumption of 10MWh were now close to national average.

He found that only a small proportion of contestable customers had switched between retailers in the year, but said that the beginning of full retail contestability on January 1, 2014 would not guarantee lower prices.

“Industry reforms will help the development of effective full retail competition in the future, however, such reforms will take time to implement and competition alone will not guarantee lower prices for Tasmanian electricity customers,” he said.

Mr Appleyard said that Tasmania’s power system had the capacity to meet demand in the short to medium-term whilst the reliability and security of the State’s electricity supply continued to be assured by the adequate capacity of generators, good inflows into water storages and the availability of imports via Basslink.

He said Aurora Energy had met almost all reliability standards.

“The performance of the distribution network has generally improved year-on-year over the last five years, and has just fallen short of the expected target,” he said.

Growth of the natural gas industry in Tasmania was continuing, although the rate of growth had slowed in the past year, with a 4.3 per cent increase in consumption and a 10.3 per cent increase in the number of retail customers.

Sourced from The Mercury

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