A new report has revealed Aussies might have to get used to high power prices. Picture: AAP
A new report has revealed Aussies might have to get used to high power prices. Picture: AAP

High power prices here to stay

AUSSIES might have to get used to power bill shock, with a new report suggesting high prices are here to stay.

Household bills jumped 20 per cent last year while the wholesale cost of electricity leapt 130 per cent between 2015 and 2017, a report by Grattan Institute says.

It's likely wholesale prices will remain above historic levels because of transition in the electricity market, the report's author Tony Wood believes.

Should more be done to reduce high power prices?

This poll ended on 12 July 2018.

Current Results

Yes, it's ridiculous the way they're rising

100%

It would be great, but I don't hold much hope

0%

It's a fact of life. Everything is getting more expensive

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Turnbull government is spruiking its National Energy Guarantee as a way to ensure market reliability and bring down prices.

But the report claims it's impossible for governments to fix the problem because price rises have been caused by issues outside their control.

"Politicians should tell Australians the harsh truth: high wholesale electricity prices are the new normal," Mr Wood said.

He said major electricity generators gaming the system are partly to blame because they create artificial scarcity of supply to force up prices.

"It's been significant and it could get worse," Mr Wood told ABC radio.

Closing coal-fired power plants is only part of the problem. Picture: AAP
Closing coal-fired power plants is only part of the problem. Picture: AAP

The institute said it has occurred in Queensland and South Australia, and there's signs Victoria and NSW could be next.

Mr Wood estimated it may have added $800 million to the price paid for electricity traded through the national electricity market.

Closing coal-fired power stations is also part of the problem, but he believed it was "simply a reality of life" that whatever new technology replaces them - whether renewables, gas or new coal plants - will be more expensive.

It found high prices for gas and black coal also contribute to bigger bills.



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