White paper indicates peak period electricity costs to rise

News posted on 02.04.2015

Abc.net.au has reported (08/04/2015) on the Federal Government white paper that indicates electricity will cost more in peak periods.

The paper says that users should better take advantage or off-peak rates to reduce their electricity bills and should pay more for power used at peak times.

Heavy air conditioner use on hot days has driven up electricity prices as heavy investment in the wires and poles network is required on those days to ensure the power remained on in those peak periods. The paper indicated that large air conditioning consumers were being subsidised by people that did not use it at all.

The white paper said that the removal of the carbon tax meant that residential electricity power is now more moderate and expected to fall in most places this year and predicted to be stable or decline in the next couple of years.

Ian Macfarlane, Industry Minister, said that he wanted users to have more control over how much money they were spending on power.

He said that smart meters will allow users to tell how much electricity they are using at any point in time and also how much it is costing them.

The white paper said that people should be able to track their usage pattern online so they could take advantage of off-peak times.

Mr Macfarlane said most customers, especially high energy households, would benefit from having lower charges at off-peak and higher tariffs at peak times.  Smart meters and technology will allow users to manage their demand better.

He said that customers can make a choice in terms of when they do their washing, use air conditioning, do the ironing and running a pool pump.

The white paper focused on competition as a way to reduce prices and increase energy productivity and argued that private ownership of state energy assets was more productive.

Last financial year saw 31 per cent of customers in Victoria switch electricity suppliers and 28 per cent swapped to a new gas supplier.