How our energy bills got so high

(Australian Associated Press)

 

HOW CUSTOMERS HAVE BEEN GOUGED

– Residential prices up 56 per cent in real terms over 10 years

– Household power bills up 35 per cent in real terms over the same period

– Bills would have been even higher except so many people installed solar panels

– Network owners used the Limited Merits Review scheme to appeal price decisions and scam billions of dollars back from customers

– Policy uncertainty meant companies didn’t want to invest in new power generation

– But they also took advantage of higher prices to reap even more money from Australian households and businesses

– The NSW, Queensland and Tasmanian governments allowed over-investment in network upgrades, passing on billions in unnecessary costs to customers

– Queensland and NSW governments gouged the worst of network charges

– Private retailers deliberately confused customers

– Price comparison websites took commissions and didn’t provide full range of offers


THE ACCC’S PREDICTED SAVINGS

* The competition watchdog predicts major savings if its recommendations are adopted

* Households could save at least $300 to $400 a year, with annual savings as high as $700

* Small and medium businesses at least $500 to $750 a year

* Companies could see bills slashed by $1450 to $2250 annually if they shop around for the best discounts.

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