Cheaper power promised for remote SA communities

The South Australian Government is promising to cut electricity costs for remote communities.

The state government said it wants a new tariff structure from July 2014, which would save people in remote areas up to $45 annually based on average consumption of 5000kW hours, as reported by ABC News.

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said residential and small business standing offers for Adelaide customers will be used to determine the tariffs for remote areas.

Coober Pedy Mayor Steve Baines said it was a welcome announcement for local residents who have an off-grid supply.

“This is something we’ve been asking both major parties for,” he said.

“It’s great to see the Labor Party has come out with a firm written commitment that our residents and businesses will pay no more for power than on-grid customers in Adelaide.”

However, opposition energy spokesman Martin Hamilton-Smith said the announcement lacks detail.

“There’s an unspecified amount of money and maybe he’ll [Mr Koutsantonis] try and get their power prices on parity with the grid,” he told ABC News.

“I want to see a dollar sign. If the government has budgeted an amount of dollars to fix their mess then the Liberal Party will match it.”

The Liberal party said, if elected in March, it would tackle unsustainable price rises for remote communities in 13 remote towns and 10 Aboriginal communities that are not connected to the main electricity grid.