Politics Random Ramblings

Energy bill power cut (meaning rise)

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.

Sourced from The Mercury

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 "Federal Carbon Tax" 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!)

Politics Random Ramblings

Power Shock (No Shock)

Well this comes as no surprise! It was only a matter of time before the "Carbon Tax" is the excuse to jack up prices (again). Only nine months ago they got their way with an 11% rise last June. So at what point will it be cheaper to go and loiter in a shopping mall just to stay warm during winter? 🙁

TASMANIAN power bills are set to rise by an average of 26 per cent or $650 a year from July because of the carbon tax and other hikes being considered by energy regulators.

Industry sources believed the carbon tax would contribute about $140 of the total rise to the average mum's and dad's bill, which last year came in at $2450.

In 2010, an initial 8.7 per cent rise for the period from July 1, 2012, was approved.

But the Office of the Tasmanian Energy Regulator is now considering a raft of price rises, including whether it will pass through the carbon tax to Tasmanian residential customers. And it is expected that transmission companies will seek approval from the Australian Energy Regulator to hike prices to make up for a revenue shortfall arising from the national phenomenon of lower electricity usage last year.

Struggling Tasmanian consumers have already endured power price rises of 23 per cent in the past two years.

The retail price hikes increase pressure on the State Government to share around Hydro Tasmania's expected $100-150 million windfall from the carbon tax.

The state Liberals yesterday challenged Energy Minister Bryan Green to adopt Liberal policy and refrain from passing on the carbon tax to households and small business.

"Tasmania already operates on more than 80 per cent renewable energy, and it is outrageous and unfair that Tasmanians are being made to pay a carbon tax when their electricity is effectively carbon free," spokesman Matthew Groom said. "We are already seeing the unthinkable, with some Tasmanian households having to choose between turning on a heater or putting food on the table."

In Parliament, Mr Green did not deny Mr Groom's assertion that increases of more than 20 per cent would occur on July 1.

Mr Green said the Government would look to put downward pressure on prices after examining the Electricity Industry Expert Panel report to be tabled in Parliament today.

Electricity price rises have also become political poison for the Federal Government since the Queensland election. The Federal Government reportedly fears that the electricity price rises will all be blamed on the carbon tax.

Also yesterday, a report by Sydney-based consultancy Intelligent Energy Systems predicted the carbon tax would contribute to significant increases in Tasmanian wholesale electricity prices.

Report author Stephen Weston said the carbon tax and the resulting retirement of coal-powered stations in Victoria would mean that gas became the primary fuel for energy generation.

In turn the increasing export of liquefied natural gas would mean domestic gas prices would become more and more linked to international energy prices.

"This is expected to drive the cost of gas for electricity generation higher," he said.

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