Energy assistance needs urgent review, says PIAC

Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) called for an urgent and
comprehensive review of consumer assistance measures following the 18% average
increase to electricity prices announced by the Independent Pricing &
Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in 2012.

At the time, Carolyn Hodge, the senior policy officer for PIAC’s Energy + Water Consumers’ Advocacy Program said, ‘Consumers
will struggle to absorb these price rises’.

‘Today’s IPART announcement means that households face average increases
of between $208 and $427 per year. The rate at which electricity prices are rising is
a major concern, especially for vulnerable consumers,’ Ms Hodge said.

price increases have become a regular feature of the energy market,
outstripping increases to traditional energy rebates or emergency assistance schemes.

Low Income Household Rebate, for example, will rise by $15 on 1 July 2012,
while average electricity bills will rise by between $208 and $427 per year.

welcomes the increases to energy rebates and emergency assistance that were
announced in the NSW State budget yesterday.

urgent and comprehensive review of assistance measures is now needed.

‘We need this review to identify the best ways to assist consumers,
including those rural and regional households who face the highest electricity
prices in NSW,’ Ms
Hodge said. 

Photo: Flickr

Related content:

Ease power pain, advocates tell O’Farrell, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 June 2012.

Cold comfort as power prices soar, ABC Radio, The World Today, 14 June 2012.

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