Statement on electricity prices

Australian Greens

“The ACT Government has been a leader in investing in renewable energy, making the significant and necessary transition away from polluting fossil fuels toward clean renewable energy. The ACT is proudly powered by 100% renewable electricity since 2020.

“For years, that has meant lower electricity prices for the ACT as we were the first to transition to 100% renewables and benefited from our contracted renewable electricity supply being cheaper than wholesale electricity prices.

“The cost of the ACT’s Feed-in tariff scheme has been well below forecast levels for several years, which has resulted in lower household electricity costs than would have otherwise occurred, returning savings through lower electricity bills.

“However, over the past year, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant drop in wholesale electricity prices, which will lead to an increase in the cost of the renewable energy scheme from around $42 million per year to $127 million this year.

“Because of our ‘contract for difference’ arrangement, where we guarantee the renewable energy generators a fixed price for the electricity they generate, this leads to an increase in the price of meeting our 100% target. When wholesale prices are higher than this amount, we save money, and when they are lower than this price, we pay the difference between the two, which is passed through in electricity bills.

“The Australian Energy Regulator will assess Evoenergy’s network electricity pricing proposal and will provide a final decision expected in May 2021.

“The exact impact on household bills will be known at that time, but the current estimate is that the cost for the typical household will increase from $1.94 per week to $5.65 per week, an increase of around $3.70 per week or $192 per year. This is still largely in line with the original projections of the total scheme cost, which was $5.50 per household per week.

“Based on analysis by the ACT’s Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission in 2020, the average annual electricity bill for customers in the ACT will remain comparable with other jurisdictions, even once this anticipated cost increase is taken into account.

“We will continue to work with Evoenergy to keep the cost of electricity as low as possible.

“The ACT Government has a range of measures in place to support ACT households and businesses with their electricity and water costs, with a particular focus on vulnerable consumers. We will continue to support ACT households to reduce energy use and manage energy costs.

“The Government provides a utilities concession of $700 per year to offset electricity, gas, water and sewerage charges, for people who hold a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card, a Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card or a Veteran’s Affairs Pensioner Concession Card or Gold Card.

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