Today, peak Australian electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), called on the Victorian Government to investigate electricity prices rises to provide greater transparency for consumers.
Yesterday Origin Energy announced further electricity price rises meaning the average family will pay about $103 extra per year. It is expected that other electricity retailers will follow in the coming weeks. A further rise is expected with the introduction of the carbon tax half way through next year.
NECA Victoria’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Philip Green, said the Victorian Government should investigate why electricity prices are rising and provide the industry and public with greater transparency.
“Electricity prices have risen considerably over the past few years with little explanation. The industry and public should be told the reasons for such steep rises,” Mr Green said.
“Electricity distribution costs have allegedly soared and customers are paying for smart meters, feed-in tariffs, solar systems and energy saving schemes.
“The Victorian Government should follow the lead of the Essential Service Commission of South Australia who investigated the impact of these activities and whether they reasonably led to hikes in electricity prices.”
NECA who represents over 5,000 electrical contractors across Australia is also concerned about the impact that higher electricity prices will have on small business and consumers now and also again in July 2012 when the carbon tax is expected to be introduced.
“At the moment there are a number of measures that are placing a lot of pressure on electricity prices in Victoria. In this year’s budget the Baillieu Government announced $445 million for electricity concessions.
“NECA believes this money would be better spent providing assistance to Victorians to undertake energy efficient measures that will help to lower electricity consumption and therefore electricity prices plus this has the added benefit of helping the environment in the years to come,” Mr Green said.
NECA has developed a leading energy efficient training course for electricians. The EcoSmart Electricians program and EcoSmart accredited electricians are already providing their customers energy efficient solutions that are lowering electricity bills.
“With the latest electricity price rise it is important that there are qualified people who are trained in energy efficiency to help the environment and help reduce energy consumption. As the peak industry body representing electrical contractors, NECA is committed to the professional development of the industry in Australia so we can help consumers drive down the costs of electricity,” Mr Green said.