Power price increases capped in Tasmania

Aurora Energy has welcomed the Tasmanian Economic Regulator’s approval of regulated electricity prices for 2017-18.

The decision will see a modest price rise of around two per cent for households while average prices for small businesses will fall by around four per cent.

Tasmanian Minister for Energy Matthew Groom said the government was taking action to ease cost of living pressures by capping power price increases for regulated customers.

He said the Economic Regulator’s decision would see the state’s power prices remain “amongst the lowest in the country”.

“For a typical household the power price increase this year will be capped at around two per cent in Tasmania, compared to double-digit increases in other states of between 16-20 per cent,” Mr Groom said.

Aurora Energy CEO Rebecca Kardos said the decision on prices was a positive outcome for customers.

“Our typical residential customers will see an increase of about $38 to their annual electricity costs,” Mrs Kardos said.

The announcement from the Regulator follows Aurora Energy’s decision last month to cap price increases for its Aurora PAY AS YOU GO customers to two per cent.

Customers receiving an electricity concession will see their concession rise by two per cent to account for the price rise in 2017-18.

Mrs Kardos said the price reduction for small businesses would result in typical small business customers saving more than $100 this coming financial year.

“This is good news as Aurora Energy recognises the important role small businesses play in the Tasmanian economy,” Mrs Kardos said.

From July 1, Aurora Energy is introducing a new, more equitable, pricing structure for its customers.

Mrs Kardos said until now regulation had required Aurora Energy to apply price changes uniformly across all customers despite the actual cost of supplying electricity varying for different types of customers.

“This has meant that some customers effectively subsidised the bills of other customers,” Mrs Kardos said.

The new prices will over time reflect the true costs of providing electricity for each customer type.

“We will be doing this slowly so our customers have plenty of time to adjust and allows them to make informed choices providing greater control over their energy use,” Mrs Kardos said.

The revised pricing structure has been approved by the Regulator as being in the best interests of Tasmanian customers.