Power prices to rise by up to 19%

THE cost of electricity is set to skyrocket under a new draft determination by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

The draft decision allows for an average price increase of 16% across NSW (including inflation) from July 1.

According to IPART, the increase is a result of rising network costs and the introduction of the carbon price.

Average price increases will vary for customers of the three regulated electricity retailers as follows:

Energy Australia customers will see an increase of 19.2%, which translates to an extra $6.50 per week or $338 per year.

Integral Energy customers will face an increase of 10.3%, which translates to an extra $3.51 per week or $182 per year.

Country Energy customers will pay 17.6% more, which translates to an extra $7.32 per week or $381 per year.

IPART chairman Dr Peter Boxall said about half the increase was because of the forecasted rise in costs faced by the retailers from the electricity network - or the poles and wires.

The other half was due to increasing wholesale electricity costs faced by the retailers due to the introduction of a carbon price on emissions from electricity generators.

"We are aware that these proposed price increases will be difficult for many customers, but they are necessary to ensure that retailers can recover the costs of providing electricity and remain financially viable," Dr Boxall said.

IPART's draft report and accompanying documents are available at ipart.nsw.gov.au.

Submissions on the report are due on May 10, before a final report in June.

Topics:  independent pricing and regulatory tribunal, peter boxall



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