NSW households to see electricity price hike by up to $35 a year

By Shubhda Khanna Nag ·

Starting from next month, NSW residents can expect their electricity bills to increase by up to $35 each year. The news comes after the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) gave its nod to a 1.5% increase in network charges from July 1.

The price hike will lead to an annual increase of up to $10 to $15 in the average electricity bill for households in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, while homes in country NSW, could see their bills rise by $30 to $35, reported the SMH.

According to Paula Conboy, AER chairman, the price rise would apply to network charges, which would remain constant in real terms by increasing no more than the Consumer Price Index, which is currently 1.5%. Network charges are included in electricity bills and represent about half of a customer’s average electricity bill in NSW.

The price rise comes despite the AER’s previous efforts to slash power costs, which were challenged by energy companies like Ausgrid, Essential Energy and Endeavour Energy. The electricity price decision has since been an ongoing debate between the energy companies, the AER and the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT).

"There has been uncertainty over future prices since the Australian Competition Tribunal's decision in February to set aside the electricity distribution determinations and gas access arrangement decision made in April and June 2015,” said Conboy.

"While it will still take some time to resolve the judicial review and remittal process, we've arrived at a solution which provides both consumers and the businesses with price stability in NSW and ACT network charges while the broader issues are addressed."

With electricity prices set to rise, here are three ways to slash your power bills:

1. Plan for winter. With winter on our doorstep, it’s a good time to plan for the colder months and look for cheaper alternatives to expensive heating systems. Check out our list of the top 5 wallet friendly ways to heat your home.

2. Get rid of that old fridge. Inefficient household appliances like an old fridge or washing machine can turn out to be expensive electricity guzzlers that add significantly to your power bill. That’s why it’s a smart idea to replace any such appliances with new energy efficient ones. Here’s how buying the right appliances can save you hundreds.

3. Switch to a cheaper electricity plan. With an increasing number of energy deals and discounts on offer, if it has been a while since you changed your energy provider, there’s a good chance that you could find a much cheaper power plan. Taking the first step is easy: start to compare NSW energy deals today simply by entering your postcode - we'll do the rest!

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