Power bills likely to rise under privatisation |POLL

16/12/2018 Posted by admin

Dubbo residents could receive a shock to the hip pocket if electricity privatisation becomes a reality. Dubbo residents could receive a shock to the hip pocket if electricity privatisation becomes a reality.

New research by the McKell Institute has calculated bills could cost up to $350 extra over the next five years under the proposed privatisation of the electricity network.

Premier Mike Baird recently proposed leasing 49 per cent of the ‘poles and wires’, generating an estimated $13 billion to help fund $20 billion worth of infrastructure projects.

Using comparisons between publicly owned and private owned companies the Nothing to gain, plenty to lose report found privatisation could lead to an increase in operating expenses, resulting in higher power bills costing between $38 and $103 more a year.

“After extensive analysis, the report found that based on the implications for the budget and the efficiency of the entity there is no logical case for privatisation,” economist and report author Stephen Koukoulas said.

However, member for Dubbo Troy Grant said the Australian Energy Regulator determined electricity prices and found prices would come down.

“The Australian Energy Regulator is an independent national body and has determined there would be no power price reductions from holding the electricity distribution networks in public ownership,” Mr Grant said.

“Other independent analysis proves the NSW Liberals and Nationals government’s plan is the right thing to do for consumers, and will free $6 billion worth of capital for our regional communities.

“The opposition and the Electrical Trade Union will say and do anything to scare people in the Dubbo electorate, but the reality is our poles and wires are not for sale.”

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Mr Koukoulas said one of the biggest factors contributing to higher overheads, especially in regional areas, would be the geographical size of the ‘poles and wires’ network- the greater the distance to be serviced, the higher the cost per customer.

The report states costs could be reduced if privatised networks decreased their service levels in remote areas, but less servicing could see more frequent and lengthier power failures.

Mr Koukoulas said once the electricity network was sold it would be almost impossible to get back and the government needed to know the consequences.

The report was commissioned by Stop the Sell Off.

The company’s campaign director Adam Kerslake said there is now detailed, data-driven research showing privatised electricity networks are less efficient with overheads growing at a faster rate.

“Mr Koukoulas has provided the hard numbers that blow apart the myths and generalisations used to promote what is essentially a fire sale to build an electoral war chest,” Mr Kerslake said.

“In recent weeks we have seen the Federal Government’s energy regulator find that the highest power prices in Australia are in South Australia, where the network is privately owned, while the NSW Auditor General revealed that power employees have delivered $3 billion to consumers through increased efficiencies.”

Mr Koukoulas said the report has already sparked debate and he hoped it would have an impact on the government’s decision.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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