Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts said many NSW households are now enjoying the decrease in their electricity bills, with the deregulation of the retail electricity market, which has been in effect since 1 July. Mr Roberts said regulated retail electricity customers are now on the transitional tariff which is 1.5 per cent lower than the 2013/14 regulated price. “Customers who were on the regulated price, were moved to the transitional tariff, which meant an automatic reduction on their electricity bills,” Mr Roberts said. “But electricity customers have the opportunity to find an even better deal by switching from the transitional tariff to a competitive market offer. “The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) found that regulated customers who switch to a competitive market offer could save up to $400 per year. “More than 65 per cent of electricity customers have already switched from the regulated price to a competitive market offer, including approximately 165,000 people since the Government announced this reform in April 2014. “The Baird Government wants to see NSW electricity customers find the best deal possible.
“We are taking these important steps to put the power back into the hands of electricity customers and are doing everything we can to help them take advantage of our electricity market reforms,” he said. Mr Dominello said NSW customers would benefit from $5.4 billion in network savings over five years. “The Baird Government’s energy market reforms are a win for NSW households and businesses, which will no longer bear the brunt of these additional costs. “We are committed to keeping downward pressure on the cost of living for households across the State.” Mr Roberts said the NSW Government has also delivered on its commitment to increase energy rebates with $228 million set aside in the 2014/15 State Budget to help some of the most disadvantaged people in our community with their power bills.
“The Family Energy Rebate will rise from $125 per year to $150 per year,” he said. “The Low Income Household Rebate, which is helping more than 700,000 eligible households each year, will increase from $225 per year to $235 per year. This is available to eligible Commonwealth concession card holders. “The Medical Energy Rebate will also rise from $225 per year to $235 per year. “The Life Support Rebate is also available for any resident who uses eligible life sustaining medical equipment, with up to around $500 per year available, depending on the type of equipment that is needed.
“The Energy Accounts Payment Assistance scheme will be increased to more than $15 million to help customers stay connected to essential energy services during a short term financial crisis. “This is in addition to the energy rebates that are available and will be provided through 290 community organisations across the State.” The removal of retail electricity price regulation will not change energy consumer protection laws, access to energy rebates or the quality of customers’ electricity supply. Mr Roberts urged electricity customers to shop around and make sure they are on the best possible deal. “Get active, get online and get a better deal by visiting the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) website www.energymadeeasy.gov.au for a free price comparison of retail electricity offers in your area,” he said.