Canberrans will be slugged an extra $64 a year on average for electricity by 2024 after a ruling by the Australian Energy Regulator that will increase network charges.
Business customers face an extra $231 a year on average from the AER determination that allows Evoenergy to recover $851.4 million from its consumers over the five years from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2024.
This means that network charges, which represent around 27 per cent of total electricity bills on average in the ACT, are estimated to be 9 per cent higher by 30 June 2024.
The 2.5 per cent increase to bills, assumes that non-network components of the electricity bill remain unchanged.
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The outcome is $20 million lower than the draft decision, and $76.6 million lower than Evoenergy’s revised proposal.
The AER said the final decision for the upcoming 2019–24 regulatory control period continued the momentum built up over the current 2014-19 period as Evoenergy became more efficient and more customer focused.
“Over the past five years, we have seen Evoenergy continue to improve its efficiency through a range of measures, including a 24 per cent reduction in staffing levels,” the AER said.
It said that as well as increasing efficiency to drive lower costs, Evoenergy had also improved its approach to consumer engagement, though more could be done.
Price certainty and affordability was a priority for customers, as well as maintaining a safe, secure and reliable supply.
Consumer alliances contributed to the decision, including ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS), Care Financial Counselling Service, the Conservation Council ACT Region, SEE-Change and the Small Business Taskforce of the Canberra Business Chamber.
AER board member, Jim Cox, said that the decision ensured that consumers pay no more than is necessary for safe and reliable electricity.
“It takes account of the need to invest in networks to cater for the greater use of renewable energy. This includes investment in network capabilities to accommodate distributed generation such as rooftop solar PV,” he said.
“Consumers will be paying for network investments such as these for decades to come, and it is our role to ensure they pay no more than they need for these services and investments.”