NSW Government fails consumers

Massive price increases announced today result directly from a failure by the NSW Minster for Energy to protect the interests of NSW customers.

For the first time ever, the Terms of Reference for the review of regulated retail electricity prices failed to require the pricing regulator to consider the impacts on customers.

“The Public Interest Advocacy Centre wrote to the Minister for Energy last year asking them to explain why consumers had been left out of the price determination. We are still waiting for an answer.” said Elissa Freeman, Senior Policy Officer, Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

As a result, NSW customers will see higher than necessary price increases, the erosion of price protections and new punitive charges. Customers will also no longer benefit from a simple and transparent retail price cap.

Today’s draft determination puts greater profitability ahead of economically efficient and socially responsible price levels.

“The NSW Government has put the interests of the state owned corporations ahead of the interests of their constituents.”

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre is calling on the NSW Government to take action to ameliorate the impact of the proposed determination on the poorest and most vulnerable customers.

“The NSW Government must act now to increase Pensioner Concessions 7% annually in line with the 7% annual electricity price increases.

“The Minister must disallow punitive late payment fees and encourage the introduction of socially responsible electricity tariffs.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,

Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169

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