NSW To Pay For Power Sell Off : Greens

Greens NSW MP John Kaye says NSW’s finances, the environment and households will be severely impacted by what he called the Keneally government’s “reckless power privatisation”.
   
“Treasurer Eric Roozendaal has squandered opportunities to use public ownership to reduce household electricity bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions”, says Mr Kaye, who believes assets have been sold at a much lower price than if the government had waited until there was more certainty about carbon prices and future coal costs.
  
Mr. Kay says NSW households will  also face even steeper electricity bills as the new owners seek to generate more profit. 
  
“The Keneally government has thrown away one of the most important keys to bringing down NSW’s greenhouse gas emissions. Private control over the baseload generators that produce more than 60 million tonnes of CO2 each year will make it much harder to reduce the state’s dependence on coal.”
   
It’s understood that Integral Energy and Country Energy have been sold to Origin Energy for $3.25 billion, along with the electricity trading rights for Eraring Energy. EnergyAustralia has been acquired by TRUenergy. 
    
It’s being widely reported this morning that the $5.3 billion electricity privatisation announcement from Treasurer Roozendaal resulted in chaos last night, with various board members of the companies being sold resigning.
   
As the prospect of further electricity price rises looms over NSW, more households may turn to solar power systems to act as a buffer. Households in NSW aren’t the only ones facing the prospect of increased electricity bills in 2011; with most states slated for increases. Adelaide Now reports household power bills will rise by an average $140 over the next year in South Australia , with more to come. 
 
In Victoria, many households will have an unhappy start to 2011 when electricity price hikes are introduced on January 1; adding up to an average $100 a year to bills of affected customers.