Tuesday, 12 September 2017
That the Senate—
(a) notes the significant increase in retail electricity prices in recent years;
(b) notes that:
(i) privatisation has had negative consequences in the electricity sector, and
(ii) price rises have been much higher in states where retail electricity prices have been deregulated;
(c) is concerned that in deregulated states, like Victoria, retail profit margins alone can account for up to 30 per cent of a household's electricity bills;
(d) considers that electricity is an essential service that should be run in the public interest; and
(e) supports the reregulation of retail electricity prices.
The government believes that competition is the key to delivering lower prices. Regulation cannot guarantee lower prices. Despite the Australian Capital Territory regulating retail prices, electricity prices went up by nearly 20 per cent on 1 July 2017. Regulation hurts smaller retailers that are vital for competition and keeping prices down. The Australian Energy Regulator has consistently found that the privately owned networks have outperformed government owned networks.