Victorian Government Fighting To Lower Electricity Prices

Victorian feed-in tariffs under reviewVictorian feed-in tariffs under review

The Victorian Government announced yesterday it had made a submission to the Australian Competition Tribunal to plead the case against the loss of electricity bill cost reductions.

It seems power companies in Victoria are appealing a previous decision made by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) that would have seen a lowering of average household electricity bills of between $50 and $120 over four years.

The Government says power companies in the state want to charge more than $350 million extra over the period to 2020.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio lodged the submission regarding upholding the AER’s decision and also intends to push for a review of the appeals process when the COAG Energy Council meets on August 19.

“The time has come for the COAG Energy Council to properly evaluate the appeals process to consider whether it is working in the interests of consumers,” said Minister D’Ambrosio.

“The current system is very complex and results in a lengthy and costly process, which ultimately disenfranchises and penalises hard-working Victorian families.”

Another state currently intervening in appeals to allow electricity bill increases is South Australia. Earlier this week, Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis announced Executive Director of Energy Vince Duffy will today deliver an oral submission to the Australian Competition Tribunal.

Victoria apparently had the OECD’s highest pre-tax electricity prices in June this year.

Victorian households and businesses have been taking electricity matters into their own hands to a degree; with approximately 14.1% of the state’s households having installed solar panels – and there’s also growing interest in battery systems.

According to Energy Matters, a 5.2kW solar power system installed in Melbourne and incorporating the hugely popular Tesla Powerwall home energy storage solution can return a financial benefit of up to $2,038 a year; depending on various factors.

Renewable energy generally will be a key factor in continuing to rein in electricity prices in an increasingly carbon-constrained world.

While the Climate Council’s recent scorecard graded Victoria a “C” on renewables; it acknowledged the Andrews Government has “sought to re-badge” Victoria as a more attractive destination for renewable energy investment since coming to office in November 2014.

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