24 May 2024

ActewAGL cleared to lift electricity prices by nearly 13 per cent

| Ian Bushnell
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powerlines at sunset

Rising network costs and an increase in the cost of the ACT Government’s large-scale feed-in tariff scheme are behind the price rise. Photo: EvoEnergy.

The Federal Government’s $300 electricity rebate will take the sting out of an average $240 increase in the annual bills of ActewAGL electricity customers on a standing offer after the regulator approved a 12.75 per cent price rise.

Businesses and other non-residential customers consuming 25,000 kWh a year face an annual increase of $922.

It could have been worse.

ActewAGL had sought a 16.62 per cent increase using its preferred methodology for wholesale energy costs and retail margin, which the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission estimated would have been a 17.1 per cent increase in its draft report.

The ICRC has updated how it will calculate price rises to arrive at the smaller increase in its final report out today.

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Senior Commissioner Joe Dimasi said the changes in the ICRC’s methodology would more accurately reflect retailers’ costs and provide a balance between reasonable prices for consumers and competition in the ACT electricity market.

The ICRC said it had updated benchmarks for retail operating costs and retail margin and reviewed the hedging strategy to better reflect how retailers responded to energy market volatility.

It said the price increase was mainly driven by higher network costs set by the Australian Energy Regulator and an increase in the ACT Government’s large-scale feed-in tariff (LFiT) scheme costs.

Last year, the scheme resulted in a rebate to ACT consumers, protecting them from the large increases in electricity prices experienced in other jurisdictions, but in 2024-25, it would incur an overall cost that would be passed on to consumers, the ICRC said.

“Nevertheless, the LFiT costs announced by the Minister in February 2024 were lower than our estimate in the draft report, and the impact of LFiT costs on electricity price for 2024-25 is less significant,” the ICRC said.

“This is because of the Minister’s Reasonable Cost Determination for 2024-25 expedited the return of funds collected under the scheme to ACT consumers.”

An average residential customer’s annual bill increase of $240 is based on using 6500 kWh of electricity a year.

However, the ICRC said market offers tended to be much lower, and a typical customer could save up to $700 a year by moving from a standing offer to a market offer.

“Despite the increase in regulated electricity prices, electricity bills for ACT customers on standing offers are expected to remain some of the lowest in the country,” Mr Dimasi said.

The Federal Government rebate will more than cover the increase for most residential customers and partially offset the increase in electricity prices for small business customers.

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The ACT Government also offers support through its Utilities Concession to help low-income and vulnerable customers pay their electricity bills.

The ICRC urged consumers to shop around and, if experiencing financial hardship, to contact their retailer for assistance.

It said there were now 15 active retailers in the ACT, serving residential and small business customers.

ActewAGL’s market share has declined from 82 per cent in 2018-19 to 74 per cent in the second quarter of 2023-24, and the number of residential customers on standing offers has plummeted from 49 per cent to 19 per cent during the same period.

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It is ironic that the endlessly renewable source of energy on these forums, climate deniers freshly outraged by extractive Rinehart’s IPA and SkyNews every night, will be the first the loudly decry every blackout whether caused by failing coal or worsening storms destroying transmission lines, are the first to loudly decry *any* investment to build and improve transmission and grid security.

The Dunning-Kruger runs strong with them.

Australia exported $112.8 billion worth of coal in FY 2022. Happy to export it for other countries to use but don’t want to use it ourselves because we’re saving the planet. Ridiculous.

Governments worldwide have spent over $5 trillion in the past two decades to subsidize wind, solar, and other so-called renewables. However, even with that astronomical financial support, the world still depends on hydrocarbons for 84% of its energy needs—down only 2% since governments started binge spending on renewables 20 years ago. So-called renewables—more accurately, unreliables—have been a giant flop. They are not viable for baseload power—even with $5 trillion in subsidies and two decades of trying. Today, using wind and solar for mass power generation is an artificial political solution that would not have been chosen on a genuinely free market for energy. Wind and solar power might be useful in specific situations. Still, it’s ridiculous to think they can provide reliable baseload power for an advanced industrial economy. It’s like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Unreliables will not replace hydrocarbons anytime soon and will certainly not bring about energy security… despite what many “serious” people believe. When it comes to reliable baseload power, most of humanity has only three choices: 1) hydrocarbons—coal, oil, and gas 2) nuclear power 3) abandon modern civilization for a pre-industrial standard of living.

Your paying for the poles and wires to connect non-reliable renewables to the grid. One trillion dollars that’s going to cost and that’s AEMO saying that, not the LNP. Snowy 2.0 costed at 3 billion now 12.5 billion and climbing and it’s due to oroduce a single watt of power for a decade, if it ever does. Compare that to Bowen’s claim nuclear is too expensive. A large scale reactor costs about 11 billion. A small scale reactor about 3-4 billion (again that’s AEMO ,costing) That’s not a trillion dollars or even 100th of a trillion dollars. Yet too many people don’t join the dots of the Bowen BS.

So you want to compare the capital cost of one power plant versus the entire network and capital costs of another option.

Makes sense.

If only there was a way to analyse and model the true total costs of providing electricity from different generation sources and energy mixes that includes those transmission costs that you mention.

Oh wait, that’s exactly what the CSIRO and AEMO Gencost research and report does.

The exact research that shows renewables are cheaper. That is what AEMO’s figures show.

Small reactors do not exist outside nuclear submarines using weapons grade enriched uranium.

Large reactors cost a *lot* more and even Saudi Arabia (recognising climate change and decline of oil) required massive state support, subsidies and an autocratic government to build their reactors in the time frames Rinehart’s IPA and Dutton are lying about.

Switch off SkyNews and research the topic please.

Not surprised Barr and his crooks increased their tariff so cost had to go up to maintain power companies billion dollar profits. I suggest getting rid of the price regulators and save a few million as they do nothing but support increased costs to consumers. Remember Canberra you voted Labor and the greedy Greens into power. Don’t expect this mob of crooks to look after you. Time for a change.

belcoanonomous6:22 am 24 May 24

All the more reason to keep my wood heater!

The climate gestapo will be around soon to stop you using a renewable resource that doesn’t have its price controlled by a cartel.

I get it, ActewAGL have just utilised the Jedi mind trick

Comments almost seem like no one has actually read the ICRC determination around the causes of the increased costs, but rather would prefer to default to the standard ideological positions.

How unsurprising.

Capital Retro9:22 am 24 May 24

You are right there chewy.

To your credit you have few peers who can really analyse this stuff but at the end of the day we still have to pay more and more for energy while Bowen et all continue to state renewables are the cheapest energy available.

At some stage you will have to admit that the whole climate change story is a scam.

Capital Retro,
Oh, so you didn’t see that wholesale energy prices are actually lower in the ICRCs determination?

You know, the part of the price that actually comes from the generation of electricity in the national grid, which is as you say, more and more supplied by renewables.

Now, of course that wholesale electricity price is more complex than just the energy mix, but people blaming renewables clearly haven’t actually read the determination.

The greatest increase in cost is because the government locked in fixed prices as part of the FIT that both shield us when wholesale energy prices go up, but cost us when they go down.

Strange that people whinging now, were eerily silent last year when that same mechanism resulted in us receiving significant protection from increased costs.

In the same way the government deflects in years like this but crows about it when their decision causes a benefit.

At some stage you’ll have to admit that the evidence and facts don’t agree with you. Actually wait, clearly you won’t ever do that based on history, even when the evidence is put right in front of you.

Here’s the TLDR though Chewy — for years the renewable lobby’s biggest selling point, other than that we can turn global temperature up or down by twiddling the carbon knob, is that we’ll all pay less. For years. So where is it? It’s all just endless excuses for why the hype isn’t happening. Don’t misinterpret me: energy mix will change, climate too. But hype, spin, moral lies — this is not being straight with people.

So you’re just going to ignore all the reasons why electricity prices have gone up that have nothing to do with renewables and then still use those reasons to blame renewables?

The major causes of why we are paying more for electricity over time are almost all related to Federal government energy policy (or lack of). Along with their inability to plan and structure the regulatory environment to support the inevitable transition to the new renewable generators over time.

And who’s been in charge of that federal government for the majority of the time? A political party that has actively promoted inaction on climate change and has significant backing from the fossil fuel industry.

Of course the transition can’t and shouldn’t be done over night but if the federal government was actually interested in providing us cheaper electricity, they would be acting far more strongly on energy policy and investment.

It’s yet to be seen whether the ALP are up to the challenge of dealing with the rent seekers and vested interests that care more about their profits than their customers but thats what is needed.

Perhaps you should redirect your anger about paying more to the actual causes, rather than attempting to scapegoat the proven, cheaper energy sources as the problem?

Ah yes. I thought it would all come back to blaming the Liberals. If you can’t cut it, blame the Liberals for it. Or fall back on slurs like that the person criticizing is “deluded”, or as you’ve done, “angry”. Anything to get off the hook. Pfft. Fact is, renewables are everywhere and prices have gone up. Spin it how you like, blame who you like, the renewables lobby didn’t deliver on their hype. Fake it til you make it seems to be their motto.

I’m not blaming the Liberals, I’m blaming politicians who haven’t done their job and through both inaction and deliberate policy that have made things worse. The fact that they are mostly from the LNP is neither here nor there.

If you’ve read this website for more than two seconds, youd have seen that I often get lumped in as a right wing Liberal supporter, so it can hardly be claimed that I would blame them on instinct.

I’ve also previously promoted a structured transition to renewables that leverages existing fossil fuel generators to lower prices as more renewables proliferate, so i most definitely havent called for a renewables at all cost approach either.

Your comment is also ironic seeing as you are quite content to simply “blame it on renewables” despite the mountains of evidence showing that they are not the cause of higher prices.

Spin it however you like, “renewables” aren’t in charge of setting energy policy or the regulatory frameworks that have resulted in market failures and higher prices. You seem quite content to blame the correlating factor of more renewable generators rather than the actual causative factors.

If you can’t see how haphazard and often deliberately destructive energy policy has led to greater market uncertainty, inefficient investment and price gouging, then I’d suggest you aren’t looking very hard at all.

How about: if the renewables lobby can’t see how “haphazard … uncertainty ..
inefficient” (your words), then they ought to have been far more circumspect, with far less hubris. But no, they’ve dined out for a decade spivving it up with their promises. I’ve seen personally how green ideology is awash in hot money. And how everyone thinks the people who position themselves around that hot money are the holiest of the holy, could do no wrong. It looks pretty different when you’re working within that particular sausage factory. The fake it til you make it crowd, with the smoothest, silkiest wall-to-wall BS spiv talk get more money shoved down their tops than a stripper at a buck’s party. Don’t make excuses for them. They might not all be con artists, but there’ll be a significant percentage who are. Hold them to their BS. Their snouts are in the public trough. Otherwise, Chewy, I’m not against you. But don’t be soft on renewables spivs.

Your paying for the poles and wires to connect non-reliable renewables to the grid. One trillion dollars that’s going to cost and that’s AEMO saying that, not the LNP. Snowy 2.0 costed at 3 billion now 12.5 billion and climbing and it’s due to oroduce a single watt of power for a decade, if it ever does. Compare that to Bowen’s claim nuclear is too expensive. A large scale reactor costs about 11 billion. A small scale reactor about 3-4 billion (again that’s AEMO ,costing) That’s not a trillion dollars or even 100th of a trillion dollars. Yet too many people don’t join the dots of the Bowen BS.

Chewy yor doing exactly what Rusty accused you of and that is defaulting to the lefts political position Renewables without government subsidies are the most expensive power you can have. The reason for that is you have to connect these solar and wind factories to the grid. AEMO says that costs one trillion dollars that the ALP NEVER includes in their costing of Renewables. The other cost that’s NEVER factored in by the ALP is the renewing cost about every 15 years of pulling them down and rebuilding them. Where on earth do you put the thousands of hectares of non- functional solar panels and wind turbine blades. The turbine blades need replacing every 8 to 10 years. Again this is AEMO saying this not the LNP. It’s the left ideologs that are going to the facts bite them in the rear end, you included it seems? Go away and actually look up what I have told here, it’s all factual. Unfortunately yours and others inability to see fact is going to cost Australia is energy security and it’s standard of living before 2030.

I’ve already responded to your claims above. The AEMO figures show that renewables are the cheapest option. The transmission costs are directly included in the research that shows this so your claims are incorrect.

Nothing to do with left or right, just the facts amd evidence. You’re doing the exact ideological dance I’m talking about.

HiddenDragon8:18 pm 23 May 24

The vandalism which has been wrought on the Australian power system over the last couple of decades is probably the most spectacular illustration to date of a political system which, far too often, seems to ensure that individuals with common sense and practical vision are marginalised, while windbags, windvanes and ideologues rise to positions of power and influence.

The fact that this news about ACT power prices was dutifully spun the same way (could have been worse and the $300 subsidy will offset it for most) in all the local media outlets I have seen/heard today is another symptom of this dismal political system.

Cool story.

Can you identify a single energy policy or advancement under the climate deniers lost decade when they were in power? Beyond SH2 which is a disaster.

Keyboard Warrior6:16 pm 23 May 24

And just like that our $300 went up in smoke.
Labor are complete liars!

So inflation is at 3.6% but electricity up by 13%. And we are the world’s largest gas exporter & don’t have enough for domestic supply.

Clearly the loonies are running the show.

ChrisinTurner4:54 pm 23 May 24

Can anyone explain why domestic consumers are subsidising LFIT suppliers.

Gas is known as a price-setter in the National Electricity Market because gas-fired power plants step in to “smooth” the demand for energy when ageing coal power stations are down or renewables aren’t working.
Australian governments have allowed a majority foreign owned gas cartel to starve the Australian market of gas by locking up supply into export contracts to force up the domestic price.
“This is a price fixing cartel. It’s illegal and it should be dealt with with the full force of the Australian law.”
“But law breaking just seems to go on and on in the gas industry in Australia and the government seems impotent.”
Laura Tingle summed up the new widely panned gas strategy recently… “”It was perhaps the most egregious and dishonest bit of parochial toadying we have seen from this government, done at the cost of undoing a lot of political work persuading voters that it was more serious about both climate change and an energy transition than the Coalition.”

This ridiculous energy “transition” will see you with episodic periods no power at all from the summer of 2025 onwards. As for quoting the leftist biased Tingle as some energy guru that has energy knowledge and insight other Australians don’t have. Well she can’t see passed her political affiliation with the ALP on any subject you want to name. This same journalist has pushed every single ALP talking point as news for approaching a decade. On energy all she does again is rabbit the ALP position. What Tingle says means nothing, what her opinions are mean even less than nothing.

Instead of immediately frothing at the mouth over a particular journalist, because she doesn’t cater to your views, Rob, perhaps you could take time to actually read what assiduous attributed to Tingle.
Rather than demonstrating “her political affiliation with the ALP on any subject you want to name”, Tingle was scathing of the government’s (ALP) gas strategy and definitely didn’t “rabbit the ALP position”.

Watch the renewables lobby wriggle out of this one. More solar than ever, prices higher than ever. Where will they point the finger? “It wuz them Libberals wot diddit Miss”.

if any one is woke and wants to complain, don’t. You voted for this. You literally asked for this – and for all the good times ahead, as well.

@Vasliy M
What has being aware, especially of social problems such as racism and inequality, got to do with concern over a rise in electricity prices?

Capital Retro7:38 pm 23 May 24

Another comment from the black hole.

Neither are aware of the real world and sucker to buy told what to think.

Oh ouch, CR! Yet again you prove your (in)capacity for insightful commentary.

Well, apart from being aware, especially of social problems such as racism and inequality, if woke also means I don’t accept the right wing garbage that you espouse, I’ll happily wear it.

Capital Retro2:51 pm 23 May 24

No comment yet from the EV lobby?

@Capital Retro
Why would they be concerned, CR? I imagine a very high proportion of EV owners have self-sustaining solar.

Capital Retro4:02 pm 23 May 24

Yeah, like they tow it around behind them?

Capital Retro4:17 pm 23 May 24

You mean part-time, taxpayer subsidised solar which will have to be replaced by grid electricity on days the sun doesn’t shine.

Don’t be ridiculous. You cit the range of an EV by over 2/3 as soon as you tow anything.

Capital Retro
Yet another insight into your capacity, well lack thereof, for deep thinking, when it comes to EVs, CR

Capital Retro7:39 pm 23 May 24

Black hole.

I agree Capital Retro, If only the previous government hadn’t botched the transition to cheaper renewables with woeful policy direction and uncertainty for investors, we wouldn’t be paying as much for electricity as we are now.

The current government clearly needs to get it right as the increased usage of EVs will need quick movement to address the fundamental changes to the grid needed.

@Capital Retro
I see you are back on your perch squawking, CR. Well at least the parrot has learnt a new call.

So far you are the single greatest source of renewable energy on this forum.

EV drivers don’t care because it will make stuff all difference.

Meanwhile next time OPEC raise your fuel prices I am sure we can expect more of your irrational outbursts this time blaming renewables for Russia’s oil policy.

Capital Retro9:58 pm 24 May 24

Squawk, squawk, another renewables stool pigeon taken out by a bird-blender.

It’s overall @chewy14

Detailed modelled supported by many studies forecasts a marginal increase in energy consumption from EVs, the concern was about peak periods where simple ToU plans have proven to be very effective because it makes no difference except to save even more money.

The whole “concern” has been whipped up by bare faced lies from Gina Rinehart’s IPA and SkyNews that for some bizarre reason right up there with all the other non-sensical conspiracies they pump out, that waste heat would need to be “replaced”.

The only observable effect to date has been on Small Modular Reactors like @Capital Retro here having full meltdowns on queue at any mention of any of this.

The only tragedy is our failure to harvest all this hot air for useful energy.

Instead it’s all wasted trolling forums with unhinged outbursts like this.

What a shame. That renewable energy could power thousands of homes.

@Capital Retro
LOL – and now we see your (in)capacity for original thought … I suppose it’s easier to parrot others from your perch.

Need to raise prices of electricity to pay for the $300 bonus. However the $300 is one off, the increase is not.

Its like robin hood but robinhood’s cut is about 90%

“Need to raise prices of electricity to pay for the $300 bonus”
Perhaps you can explain how the $300 bonus to be provided by the federal government, is going to be paid for by a commercial entity raising its energy costs, gooterz.

The commercial entities are those that power the country through coal and gas. If they are told not to burn coal and import solar panels it’s going to cost money.

Are you missing the link between electricity prices and how it’s supplied?

And here I was thinking that all these Solar Panels around the tip, Royalla and Williamsdale were meant to.provide cheap energy. Clearly Rattenbury and Barr have once again lead us up the garden path. I’m sick of this Sh**.

Look out, the labor/greens ecostooges will be here any second absolutely foaming at the mouth over this comment.

Capital Retro4:09 pm 23 May 24

They are awaiting instructions on how to spin it.

Meanwhile. Eraring Power station (the evil coal burning one) is to stay open until at least 2027 and the part time tunnel boring machine being used in the $20 billion Snowy 2 pump hydro fiasco is stuck again.

Did you read the whole article, it says that their market share has been dropping. They have to recoup the lost income from somewhere. Just think about all of the solar that is generated each day, ACTEW get all of the generated electricity almost for free. They then re-sell that electricity to you and I at an average of 300% profit. So if I am working this out correctly, if the electricity retailers weren’t getting all of that solar electricity for almost free, the power prices would be even higher.

Ian B looking to spin a good story out of a really bad one – surprise surprise. And look out next year folks!

Well I’d be thinkin this is the storm before the calm.
I mean we will get a 13% reduction, and then some, later on, won’t we ?

When we have these enormous batteries everywhere giving me and you and say aluminium factories an overflow of power, it will be all hearts and roses again, won’t it ?

I hope I live that long.

Capital Retro4:23 pm 23 May 24

Battery = Bad
High Voltage Rechargeable Energy Storage System = Good

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