FRIDAY 08 MARCH, 2013 |
Bigger Power Bills In South Australia (Again)?
SA Power Networks (formerly ETSA) is seeking to increase residential power bills
- and this time it's trees copping the blame.
SA Power Networks has lodged a cost pass through application with the Australian
Energy Regulator with regard to forecast vegetation clearance costs in the period from 2012–13 to 2014–15. SA Power Networks
has proposed a positive pass through amount of $40.7 million.
In its hefty 118-page application
(PDF), the distributors says the cost increase "has been caused solely by
an uncontrollable, unexpected and material increase in the frequency and extent
of vegetation inspection and clearance required to be undertaken by SA Power
Networks in order to continue to meet its vegetation clearance obligation under
the Act and the Regulations".
It says the unexpected increase in vegetation growth rates followed the breaking of the 'Millennium drought',
which was then sustained by above average rainfall.
According to Adelaide
, the $40.7 million will add a further $15-a-year increase to the average
residential power bill over the next two years.
However, Consumers SA said any costing miscalculations that had been made by the network should be
carried by the network rather than households.
The Australian Energy Regulator will make a decision in May on SA Power Network's application.
The increase may not seem like a huge amount, but it could be the proverbial
straw that motivates more South Australian households to make the switch to
solar; particularly given the state's unpleasant distinction of having among the
highest electricity prices in the world.
According to national solar provider Energy
, a good quality 2kW solar power system installed
can achieve electricity bill savings of between an estimated $751-$855
Under the state's feed in tariff program, system owners receive 25.8c per kilowatt hour minimum for surplus electricity generated by
their rooftop solar array that is exported to the mains power grid.
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