25 June 2018
The Berejiklian Government has no plan in the Budget to rein in out-of-control power prices impacting households and businesses across the state.
Electricity prices have increased by an average of 60 percent since the Liberal-Nationals took office in 2011, including a 20 percent rise since Gladys Berejiklian became Premier.
Evidence given this week to a Parliamentary inquiry into electricity prices, supply and demand heard that the profits alone of the big energy companies made up 15-20 per cent of every household electricity bill – outstripping the profit margins of most businesses in the country.
This government is responsible for the current state of the electricity market. For eight years the NSW Coalition has had one energy policy – to privatise and deregulate. They sold the generators and distributors and they deregulated electricity prices. Since then prices have only gone up, not down – despite their promise at the 2015 state election that privatisation would not lead to prices rises.
The best this tired and out of touch government has to offer is to provide a trial in five locations of public servants to look over household power bills.
This is despite the existence of superior electricity comparison products such as those provided by iSelect and Choice.
Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle said the Berejiklian Government approach is just a gimmick that cannot deliver real price reductions for the people of NSW.
Only a NSW Labor Government elected in March 2019 will tackle runaway energy prices.
NSW Labor will work to make electricity more affordable by re-regulating the electricity market.
Our plan will:
- help households and businesses struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living under the Berejiklian Government;
- ensure greater transparency around the huge profits the big energy companies make; and
- ensure consumers are treated fairly and stop price gouging by the big energy companies.
This includes by cracking down on excessive profits; requiring truth in the advertising of discounts being offered to customers to ensure they are real discounts on what customers are already paying; keeping basic services at a set price for every customer; and ensuring offers from different energy companies can be easily compared.
For more detail, see Adam Searle’s speech to the Energy Users’ Association.
Quotes attributable to Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle:
“The Berejiklian Government has no plan to stop skyrocketing electricity prices that are hurting families and businesses across the State, a problem they’ve caused through privatisation and deregulation.
“They have left energy policy to Canberra and everything else to the market – neither of which has worked well for the people of NSW.
“When markets fail to deliver fair outcomes, people expect government to step in.
“Labor will not stand by and let family budgets be crushed and businesses wrecked by power price hikes.
“We will re-regulate the electricity companies to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.”
 Budget Estimates 2018-2019, Budget Paper No. 3, p7-3, 7-5, 7-8.