NSW households to pay more for power as wholesale electricity costs rise
Summary: Residents in New South Wales will have to pay more for energy bills from July as a result of increasing wholesale electricity prices.....
NSW Energy and Utilities Minister Don Harwin confirmed the increases were due to the closure of South Australia’s Northern Power Station and Victoria’s Hazelwood coal mine.
Wholesale electricity prices in the state have since increased 57 percent, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator.
“The only way to put downward pressure on the wholesale price is to attract new investment in generation for the national electricity market,” Mr Harwin told 9news.com.au today.
The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday the price increase totalled “up to $400” per annum for households.
Mr Harwin said the quoted numbers “were not the government’s figures,” but did confirm a price rise.
“We’ll have to see what the retailers offer to know what the prices will be,” Mr Harwin said.
Australian Power Project’s Nathan Vass told the Daily Telegraph another reason for surging electricity prices was “an increased reliance on renewable energy.”
Mark Bretherton from the Clean Energy Council said comments made by the Mr Vass were “inaccurate”.
“Renewable energy only produces 12 percent of the electricity in NSW and only one project came online in the state last year,” he said.
“There is no way that something which produces 12 percent of less than half of a power bill can have the effect claimed by (Mr) Vass.”
Mr Harwin said he was “concerned about households and businesses facing bill rises mid-year.”
“We need national market reform. We need the Federal Government and the states to lock in a sensible plan, and take the politics out of the issue in the middle of the year when the Finkel Review is delivered.”
In the meantime, he encouraged consumers to “shop around” to find the best deal.