Finally, SA Electricity prices to drop over next two years

Soaring power prices are taking their toll on South Australians.

“Everyone’s really feeling it aren’t they?” said one resident today.

“I’ve been here two years from Sydney and I’ve just seen it go up and up,” said another.

But a new report from the Australian Energy Market Commission says relief is coming.

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Residential power prices are predicted to fall by 7.3 percent a year for the next two years, which equates to about $280 off the average household bill.

It’s a result of more wholesale electricity coming into the national market, mainly from renewable sources.

Victorians are expected to experience a bigger fall in prices by 8.2 percent a year between 2018 and 2020, with lower falls of 7.1 percent in Queensland, and 6.6 percent in New South Wales.

Western Australia is forecast to experience a 6.3 percent increase in current electricity bills.

Predicted Electricity Price Changes 2018-2020 (Source: aemc.gov.au)

STATE 2018-2020 CHANGE
NSW 6.6% DECREASE
QLD 7.1% DECREASE
VIC 8.2% DECREASE
SA 7.3% DECREASE
WA 6.5% INCREASE

The energy minister Tom Koutsantonis claimed credit today. “Our solar thermal plant. Our back-up generators. Our investment in solar and wind is driving prices lower,” he said.

These are claims disputed by the opposition, and the report itself.

“The current policies that the State Government has in place will not place any downward pressure on electricity prices in South Australia,” said Shadow Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

Even after the expected savings, welfare groups say South Australian power prices by 2020 are still projected to be almost 70 percent higher than they were ten years earlier. “That’s a whopping great increase. And of course, that’s why so many households are struggling and it’s particularly why those households on very low incomes are having a very hard time.”

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