Power retailers need to be shocked into action

By Dairy News

Farmers and regional and rural NSW residents will see increased in their power bill of 200 per cent, according to NSW Farmers’ President, Derek Schoen.

He has called on the Federal Government and electricity retailers to establish short-term and long-term reforms to provide respite to those living outside capital cities.

“Regional electricity users are paying the highest electricity prices in Australia, and with the introduction of cost-reflective pricing, some users will see increases in their electricity bill of 200 per cent,” Mr Schoen said.

“The typical household in the bush pays around $2083, while in Sydney this is $1507.”

Mr Schoen said retail markets in regional areas are not competitive, and regional electricity users are not getting a fair deal on their electricity.

“If you are in Dubbo, even if you shop around, you will only get a 32 per cent cost-saving on your electricity from the default market offer.

“If you live in Darlinghurst you will get a 51 per cent cost-saving. Regional users are not receiving the benefits of a competitive electricity market.”

Mr Schoen said an immediate solution could be the introduction of a comparison rate for retail electricity market offers, allowing customers to directly compare the myriad of market offers and find the best deal.

“In NSW we have over 100 different market offers. This is not a sign of competition or innovation, it is a sign of price opaqueness.

“A comparison rate, much like those mandated for loan products, would allow consumers to navigate the myriad of offers and find the best deal for them.

“In the longer-term we need incentives and feed-in tariffs that encourage distributed energy resources, demand management, and energy efficiency on farms.

“I want to see farmers control their own destiny with respect to energy and electricity.”