The consumer watchdog, the ACC, today released a blueprint for change in the power industry aimed at shrinking the power bills in Australian households.
Its Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry report released today identifies the root causes of high electricity prices across Australia and makes 56 recommendations to fix the National Electricity Market.
The ACCC estimates its recommendations would save the average household between 20% and 25% on their electricity bill, or between $290 and $415 a year.
An average residential customer in NSW should be able to achieve savings of $409 or 24% of annual bills by 2020–21.
Here are the potential savings by state:
The ACCC estimates that the average power bill in Australia has risen to $1,691 a year from $1,177 in the ten years to the 2016-17 financial.
And that almost half (48%) of the bill was made up of network costs.
The ACCC says the main reason electricity bills have gone up is due to higher network costs.
In real terms, average residential bills increased by 30% (on a dollars per customer basis) between 2007-08 and 2015-16.
The ACCC estimates that in 2016-17, Queenslanders were paying the most for their electricity, followed by South Australians and then NSW.
Victorians had the lowest electricity bills due to a range of factors including including the prevalence of gas usage in that state.
The closure of large coal generation plants has seen gas-powered generation becoming the marginal source of generation more frequently, particularly in South Australia.
Higher gas prices have contributed to increasing electricity prices.
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