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Lower NSW electricity network prices will ease cost pressures on business

Release Date: 29/05/2015
The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) says the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) decision not to change its final determination on electricity network prices in New South Wales will ease cost pressures on business and ensure energy providers are operating the networks as efficiently as possible.  
“Electricity prices are a key source of cost pressure for both households and businesses in NSW, with $580 having been added to the average household electricity bill in just five years,” said IBC Chief Executive, Debra Murphy. 
 “The regulator’s final determination will provide much-needed relief for businesses across the state. For example, annual electricity bills for small businesses are expected to reduce by approximately 5 per cent for 2015–16, an average saving for business of around $270.  
“AER’s final determination will also provide certainty for businesses, for a significant input cost, over the next four years.   
“We particularly welcome the robust benchmarking of the costs of undertaking similar activities across service providers in the National Electricity Market. 
“AER benchmarking shows that the government-owned electricity networks in the ACT, NSW and QLD have low efficiency scores and that there is scope for efficiency improvements. 
“This follows the April release of the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee report on Performance and Management of electricity network companies, which identified over-investment in state electricity networks. 
 “AER’s decision to lower electricity network prices in NSW confirms that the lease of the State’s electricity assets will deliver more affordable electricity. 
 “It would also unlock funds to invest in essential infrastructure for households and businesses across the state,” Ms Murphy said.
Media Contact:         Julia Frith 0417 135 858

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