01.Productivity Commission releases report
The Productivity Commission has released draft report calling for a regulatory overhaul to help take the pressure off of Australia’s soaring electricity bills.
The report identifies "spiralling network costs" as the "main contributor" to increasing electricity prices over the last five years. It notes that such network costs now account for one-half of the average Australian household’s electricity bill.
The report singles out flaws in the current regulations which encourage higher peak electricity use. This requires large amounts of infrastructure to be built just to service short 40-hour periods of high energy use each year - usually in the summer. This infrastructure is paid for all year round by consumers through their bills.
The commission made several recommendations, including calling for the creation of a new industry-funded consumer body to engage in regulatory determinations and reviews.
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CHOICE welcomes the report
CHOICE has welcomed the report, which has echoed many of the concerns we have been raising on electricity for several years.
In September, CHOICE made 14 of its own recommendations to reduce electricity prices. These included reducing peak demand, ensuring more efficient spending and empowering consumers.
“Today’s report is further evidence that we have a broken electricity system in Australia, with wasteful spending resulting in unnecessary increases in household bills,” says CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland.
“As the commission says, our electricity market is meant to put consumers’ interests front and centre, and right now, that objective has been lost.
“In particular we welcome the call for greater consumer participation in electricity market decisions,” Mr Kirkland says.
Take the Power Back
The report also highlights the importance of CHOICE’s Take the Power Back campaign. The campaign is calling on ministers around the country to stop dragging their feet and fix Australia broken electricity system.
“We need to see all governments – federal, state and territory – step up to the plate before the final COAG meeting of 2012 and take meaningful, long-term actions to reduce electricity network costs for households”, Mr Kirkland says.
You can say ‘enough is enough’ to your minister by signing our petition. You can also join our campaign by becoming a campaign supporter.