Tamara (Homes Down Under)

Not everyday that you see this in the news!

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    Welcome relief after the hikes of the past few years....

     

    [h=1]Household electricity bills to be slashed by about $200[/h]

    • DAVID NANKERVIS
    • THE ADVERTISER
    • APRIL 30, 2015 1:32PM

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    Households should get some electricity bill relief from next financial year.

     

     

    HOUSEHOLD electricity bills will be slashed by almost $200 next financial year.

    The energy regulator today decided to cut network charges, which it says will reduce bills by almost 10 per cent on average in 2015/16.The decision means SA Power Networks (formerly ETSA) will receive significantly less revenue than it asked for from the regulator.Welfare and business groups have welcomed this morning’s Australian Energy Regulator decision, which provides significant relief for electricity customers after years of soaring power prices.The regulator said it expects “average annual electricity bills for residential customers to reduce by $197 (or 9.8 per cent) in 2015—16, followed by more stable bills over the rest of the period covered by this decision’’.“For small business customers, we expect reductions of $381 (or 9.8 per cent) in 2015-16 and relatively stable bills over the rest of the period covered by this decision.’’In its decision on how much SA Power Networks can charge for electricity supply, the regulator said it will allow the monopoly company to recover “32.3 per cent less revenue’’ than it proposed.Welfare agency Uniting Communities said the savings generated by the regulator’s decision were well justified.“This reduction is reasonable and about the amount customers should have been expecting,’’ Uniting communities spokesman Mark Henley said.“This reduction is not so much about expenditure but reflects the dramatic decrease in the cost of borrowing.’’Business SA said the cut to electricity bills was welcome, given they are a “major cost for growth sectors including manufacturing and irrigated agriculture.’’Welcoming the decision, Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the State Government had been particularly concerned with the large increase in SA Power Network’s proposed capital expenditure.“SAPN had proposed $2.48 billion for capital expenditure with the AER determining this should be significantly lowered to $1.68 billion – a reduction of $800 million,” he said.Retailers are expected to start passing savings on to consumers after July 1, 2015, he said.

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    That's good news. AGL totally screwed our bill up - was happily paying $50 a fortnight, then they smoothed it down to $19 - which wasn't enough so they've shot it up to $89 to catch-up. This may help a bit.

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    But......... It's in the Advertiser ? Which (some might say) detracts from it's accuracy and authenticity ?

     

    Move on mate.

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    I wonder if our water bills may go down as well. (in 2016)

    I didn't know that the desal plant was running..thought that it had been mothballed.

     

     

    SA Water chairman Lew Owens vows to cut ‘hurtful’ bills

     

    • CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL BUSINESS EDITOR
    • THE ADVERTISER
    • APRIL 17, 2015 10:23PM

     

     

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    A 4 per cent cut would save the householder $53 a year in water bills.

     

     

    SA WATER wants to cut household utility bills by about $50 a year from mid 2016, its chairman conceding high charges are “hurting”.

    Lew Owens said the organisation would ask for its revenue to be reduced to force down prices and was determined to be more efficient.“Everyone says, look, it’s hurting,” he told The Advertiser. “The way the numbers are now, we will probably start off with a price reduction in the first year and then consumer price index rises after that.“We’re looking at 3 per cent to 5 per cent in that first year.”An Adelaide resident in a median-priced house using an average quantity of water now pays $1334 a year for water and sewerage, plus a $40 River Murray levy.index

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    SA Water chairman Lew Owens

     

     

     

    A 4 per cent cut would save the householder $53 a year.Water prices have soared in the past 10 years, mostly to pay for the $1.8 billion Adelaide desalination plant and $400 million North South Interconnection System Project.Mr Owens said SA Water had been conducting extensive surveys and consultations as it prepares its pricing proposal.“The main issue is affordability, people say it costs too much,” he said.Mr Owens said capital investment over the past five years had gone into water security through the desalination plant and interconnector.Now past its proving stage, the desalination plant would continue to run indefinitely.“It’s never been mothballed,” he said.“The desal plant will continue to operate, the board made that decision.”In 2013-14, the plant supplied 28.5 per cent of Adelaide’s water. It is now running at an average 10 per cent capacity, but has been cranked up quickly in times of need, such as when an electrical outage cut pumping from the Happy Valley reservoir.Capital spending would now turn to upgrading mains to reduce pipe bursts.“The public hate leaks,” Mr Owens said.He said SA Water has been reducing costs on several fronts. It has cut staff numbers by 150 to 1490 people.Electricity costs have fallen through SA Water buying power itself rather than going through a retailer, and by timing its pumping to better align with cheaper off-peak periods.“We also have five electricity generation plants ourselves,” Mr Owens said.793570-waterworks.jpg

     

     

     

     

    These were methane-powered generators at Glenelg and Bolivar waste water plants and mini hydro-electric generators on the desalination plant outfall and downhill runs from reservoirs.Since July 2013, the pricing system has required SA Water to put a proposal to the independent Essential Services Commission of SA, explaining what SA Water will do during the next four years and therefore how much revenue it needs.After also considering submissions from the public, welfare, consumer and business organisations, ESCOSA determines a revenue amount. SA Water and the government then set prices in tune with that amount.A spokeswoman for Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis welcomed the SA Water strategy.“The government supports any efforts by SA Water to reduce water prices for consumers,” she said.Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said there was “no doubt South Australians have been paying way too much for water”.He said even if SA Water reduced operating costs there might not be much relief because the biggest factor influencing ESCOSA’s revenue determination was having to allow for a return on what the utility owns, its so-called regulated asset base.“The Government holds all the cards,” he said.Mr Marshall said the Opposition wanted an independent inquiry on water pricing.In its proposal for mid-2013 to mid-2016, SA Water asked for increases in revenue to cover “relatively flat” but rising operating costs for water and sewerage and a decline in operating costs for the desalination plant. The final price results were consecutive annual increases of 2.9 per cent. Next year’s rise is yet to be set.The Government has previously claimed there was a 6.4 per cent reduction in water prices in 2013-14.This was an illusion, however, because the fall was from prices set the year before. which weren’t effectively applied because of a rebate.SA Water paid the Government $196 million as a dividend last year on profits of $284 million.COMMENTS

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    Re the water, I'm hopeful. And that the desalination plant has plenty of scope to increase its output is good news. The down side of that is the waste aspect of that concerns me.

     

    And I'd not say no to a leccy price cut too. TBH I'm still not overly shocked by the energy prices here but that may be that arriving when we did, the increase had mostly already happened.

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