Power price rises: rural consumers hit hard

and regional consumers will be among those hardest hit by the average 16 per cent increase in NSW electricity prices
proposed today by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, IPART.

Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has called for energy rebates that
target people most at risk of energy poverty.

in regional and rural NSW will be among those most affected by the price rise,
said Carolyn Hodge, the senior policy officer for PIAC’s Energy + Water
Consumers’ Advocacy Program.

consumers do not pay the same price for electricity across NSW but the rebate
rates are uniform,’ Ms Hodge said.

is particularly concerned about people in rural and regional areas, who are
paying approximately $600 per year more than the average Sydney household.

are asking the NSW Government to provide smart assistance, targeting rebates to
the most vulnerable.

all of the assistance available to vulnerable people has kept up with power
prices. As prices rise, this vital assistance must consistently increase at the
same rate as power prices,’ Ms Hodge said.

Hodge noted that rural consumers are not the only ones who will be hit hard by
the price rises.

assistance funding and life support rebates failed to keep pace with the
increase in electricity prices NSW consumers experienced last year,’ Ms Hodge

Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) scheme provides payment vouchers to
people in emergency situations who would otherwise be unable to pay their power
bills. It received no additional funding last year, despite a 17.3% average rise
in power costs.

urges the Government to boost funding for the EAPA scheme as well introduce a
rebate for vulnerable consumers in rural and regional NSW,’ Ms Hodge said.

CONTACT: PIAC senior media & communications
adviser, Dominic O’Grady: 0478 739 280.

Related content: IPART’s consumer_fact_sheet (pdf)

NSW calls for carbon tax to be scrapped, aap, 12 April 2012

Investment fears over ‘attack’ on green energy, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 April 2012

Photo: Flikr

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