nsw liberals huge electricity price hike

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    The independent regulator has confirmed New South Wales electricity users will be slugged at least $200 more a year from next month.

    The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) today released its final report on electricity pricing, revealing an average increase of 17.3 per cent.

    That's slightly less than the 17.6 per cent foreshadowed by IPART in its previous report two months ago.

    The average increase for homes will range from $216 to $316 extra a year, while an average businesses will pay up to $528 more annually.

    Consumers living in regional parts of the state will be hit harder than those in Sydney.

    IPART's chairman, Rod Sims, says while the increases are necessary he is aware they will cause significant pain.

    "When you then get a 17 per cent increase that's extremely difficult for them to bear, that is indeed why we are so concerned," Mr Sims said.

    "And that's why we're also recommending that the NSW Government increase the vouchers available to help people who just find these increases very hard to afford, for what is an essential service."

    IPART says nearly half of the increase is due to increased network costs.

    The regulator says much of the rest is due to increased costs because of the Federal Government's Renewable Energy Target scheme.

    "The Federal Government's renewable energy target, particularly the very generous subsidies that were in place for putting solar panels on roofs," Mr Sims said.

    Mr Sims says the State Government has saved consumers from paying even more by shouldering the cost of the Solar Bonus Scheme.

    Dave R.
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