Electricity prices have been in limbo since the Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision in February that effectively put a stop to the price reductions proposed by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) last year. The AER has now sought judicial review of the Tribunal’s decision in the Federal Court. While we wait for the Full Federal Court’s review decision, an agreement has been reached between the AER and the NSW network businesses to increase prices by about 1.5% from 1 July, in line with inflation.
This is just the latest development in complex, on-going legal wrangling in relation to NSW electricity prices. Since May 2015, PIAC has been representing consumers in a $7.1 billion battle with 12 electricity network businesses and the AER in relation to how much the networks can charge for their services.
While PIAC’s involvement was vital and gave consumers a seat at the table for the first time, the Tribunal’s decision means that it is likely that the network businesses will be granted permission to increase their prices at the end of the price-determination process. Even worse, once a decision is reached, they may play ‘catch-up’ with their pricing, leading to major bill shock for NSW consumers.
Watch our CEO, Edward Santow on Channel Nine News