People in NSW are paying much more for their electricity than they should be. On Monday 21 September, PIAC launched a David and Goliath challenge with the aim of ensuring consumers pay fair electricity prices.
Since 2008, our electricity prices have doubled, mainly due to massive overspending on ‘poles and wires’ in NSW. It costs twice as much to get electricity from a power station to a home in NSW as in Victoria.
This can put unbearable strain on ordinary consumers. It can have catastrophic consequences for people with a disability and other vulnerable consumers.
PIAC believes that the energy regulator’s decision earlier this year will not produce efficient electricity prices in NSW. PIAC has appealed the decision, seeking a reduction of $200 per year for an average bill. This is the first time a consumer organisation has made such a challenge.
The NSW electricity networks also appealed the AER’s decision. They are seeking to increase an average bill by more than $500 a year.
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PIAC, a small not-for-profit organisation, is going into battle against an army of electricity businesses, with huge resources behind them. If the electricity networks are successful, this will squeeze even more money out of electricity consumers.
This has become ‘mega litigation’ and, as a result, PIAC now has a $35,000 shortfall we need to cover urgently to enable us to participate fully in the case.
We have a good chance of beating these big businesses, but if we fail, people will continue to pay too much for the electricity we all need for a dignified life.