The Andrews Labor Government is fighting to keep electricity prices affordable for Victorians through a submission to the Australian Competition Tribunal.
Victorian power companies are challenging a decision by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), to reduce electricity prices.
The AER ruling, which would have seen average household bills reduce by between $50 – $120 over four years, is being challenged in the Australian Competition Tribunal.
Power companies can apply to the Tribunal for a review of decisions made by the AER about what electricity businesses charge for providing access to their networks. These network charges are borne by consumers and typically make up between 20 and 40 percent of electricity bills in Victoria.
The impact of previous reviews on consumers has been significant. Between 2008 and 2012, consumers were charged $3.3 billion extra due to networks successfully contesting the AER’s decisions.
Documents submitted to the Australian Competition Tribunal reveal the Victorian power companies want to charge more than $350 million extra over the period to 2020.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has made a submission to these proceedings to protect Victorian consumers.
The Australian Competition Tribunal review hearings commenced yesterday and the Tribunal is expected to hear arguments from Victorian power companies, the AER and the Minister later in the year.
Ms D’Ambrosio will be also be pushing for a review of this process when the COAG Energy Council meets later this month.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“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.”
“The current system is very complex and results in a lengthy and costly process, which ultimately disenfranchises and penalises hard-working Victorian families.”
“We will stand up and fight to protect the long-term interests of Victorian consumers.”