Today, Victoria’s electricity network businesses will submit their proposed tariffs to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), heralding a move towards cost-reflective pricing that removes cross subsidies and promotes sustainable use of network capacity. The tariffs are likely to come into effect for Victoria households in 2017 or 2018.
The ATA is supportive of the move to cost-reflective tariffs, but of the view that a co-ordinated, long-term approach to educating consumers about cost-reflective pricing, involving government, industry and community participation, is crucial to manage the impact of new pricing structures. Further, to address specific impacts on vulnerable consumers, energy concession frameworks need to be improved and the potential role of price controls for disadvantaged consumers should be fully explored.
With the support of Energy Consumers Australia, the ATA has worked closely with energy businesses and other consumer groups over the past year to promote a tariff design that is fair and balances cost-reflectivity with consumer impacts.
At the last hour, we initiated and led a campaign, supported by over a dozen other consumer groups, to oppose plans to charge households peak demand charges on weekends and public holidays. In response to the campaign, Victorian network businesses have now agreed to drop weekend and public holiday peak demand charges from their proposals. With this, the ATA is broadly supportive of the proposals to the AER.
This is yet another win for ATA’s consumer advocacy in another successful year representing the needs of Australia’s energy consumers