ACT electricty prices set to drop

ACT residents will soon see cheaper electricity costs on their bills thanks to the ACT Government’s investment in renewable energy.

The Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission’s (ICRC) final decision on regulated electricity prices in the ACT will see an average price decrease of 2.56 per cent from 1 July 2020.

This is welcome news for ACT electricity consumers, as we have seen many households and businesses struggle due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.

The ACT Government has been a leader in investing in renewable energy, with the ACT being powered by 100% renewable electricity from this year, and this commitment is starting to push down costs in a number of areas.

Despite all the scaremongering that a reliance on renewable energy will lead to higher prices, the ACT is proving to the nation that a transition to clean energy is the right thing to do.

ACT households and businesses continue to have some of the lowest cost and most reliable electricity supplies in the country, as shown in Figure 5.1 from the ICRC’s report below. If ActewAGL Retail passes through the full price decrease, average ACT households should see a decrease of around $43 in their annual electricity bill for 2020-21.

The ICRC also announced its recommendations on making it easier for consumers to compare the electricity offers in the ACT, including the development of a reference bill amount and a new obligation for electricity retailers to notify customers if they have a better offer available. These are welcome initiatives and the Government is supportive of measures that help customers find the best energy deal and help Canberrans reduce their energy bills.

As noted by Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability

This is a welcome decision, and if ActewAGL passes through the full price decrease – which I hope they do – it would see a decrease of about $43 on the annual electricity bill of the average ACT household for 2020-21. For businesses the decrease will range from $66 – $265.

The decrease is especially timely, as businesses and households face extra pressures due to the COVID-19 crisis. It is important that essential services like energy remain affordable, and that people have equitable access

The decision further demonstrates that good environmental policies, and renewable energy, go hand in hand with energy price relief for households and businesses.

The ICRC notes that the increase in renewables generation is responsible for a significant portion of the decrease in electricity prices.

I also welcome the ICRC’s recommendations about improving information for electricity customers, and the Government will investigate implementing them.

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