Electricity Costs to soar in Tassie

Aurora slug ‘will push many over the edge’

BY SEAN FORD  08 Jun, 2011 12:00 AM
AURORA is blaming renewable energy schemes and system investments for its latest power price slug.Aurora is seeking a regulator’s approval for a 10.97% price rise to householders, including Pay As You Go customers, and business from July 1.

It would add an estimated $220 to the average annual residential power bill.

Such a rise would push many Tasmanians over the edge, shadow energy minister Matthew Groom said.

Premier Lara Giddings said government concessions for Tasmanians most in need were indexed and would increase.

She said power prices were rising across Australia and Tasmania’s were around “the middle of the pack”.

The economic regulator had already estimated prices would rise by 8.5% on July 1.

Aurora is arguing the bigger increase is needed because of extra costs from the federal Renewable Energy Target Scheme and system improvements.

“Investments made to improve the capacity, reliability and safety of Tasmania’s transmission and distribution network infrastructure have added 2% to customer bills to take effect from July 1,” it said.

“A further increase of about 0.5% can be attributed to changes under the federal RET schemes, under which all Australian energy retailers such as Aurora have a legal obligation to purchase an increasing amount of renewable energy certificates from new, renewable sources such as rooftop solar installations.”

Aurora CEO Peter Davis said the price increases would be tough for customers to accept at a time when they are already feeling the pinch of rising electricity bills.

“As an energy retailer, Aurora cannot avoid the extra costs announced today and they are the same as those facing all electricity retailers operating in the Tasmanian market,” he said.

“Aurora is acutely aware of the impact of price rises on our customers and has embarked on an unprecedented business-wide efficiency drive that has already delivered significant spending reductions …”



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