Release of the Electricity Price Review and Gov response
The Government is taking meaningful steps to ensure consumers get a better deal and address the real issues of energy hardship, says the Electricity Networks Association (ENA).
Chief executive Graeme Peters said that lines companies would mostly be pleased with the Government’s response to the final report and recommendations of the Electricity Price Review panel.
“While overall the review found the electricity market is working well, ensuring there is greater transparency and fair competition in the sector will go some way to guarantee that those who can least afford it are not paying higher bills than they need to.”
The recommendation to help consumers have a greater say in the electricity sector is also positive.
“The decision to establish a consumer advisory council, and to direct the Electricity Authority and Commerce Commission to listen more to customers’ views will ensure the consumer voice is heard more loudly than it has in the past.”
Agreeing to transition away from the currently unfair low fixed-charge regulations is also a longer-term win for consumers, Peter says.
“The distribution sector will be working with officials to ensure that the transition from the no-longer-fit-for-purpose regulations will have minimal impact on those who are currently on low fixed-charge plans.
“At the same time, this will remove the burden of the $170 m cross-subsidy that larger households – including those often in energy hardship – currently pay towards subsidising the costs of supplying electricity to those consumers currently on the low user fixed-charge.”
Overall, the ENA congratulates the review panel and the Government for its detailed review of the sector and adopting recommendations that will ensure consumers are both listened to, and paying a fair price for electricity, Peters says.