States 'gouged' users on power
THE consumer watchdog has accused state governments of price gouging their citizens on electricity costs.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims, who has announced an inquiry into energy affordability, told ABC radio electricity prices had likely more than doubled after inflation in the past decade "because a whole lot of policy changes” had been made with "no regard” to electricity affordability.
He said deregulation or loosening of the regulation of the monopoly poles and wires business about a decade ago, combined with an unnecessary increase in reliability standards, had pushed up the costs of poles and wires.
"That's 50% of your bill - that almost doubled the wires and poles costs alone,” he said.
Green schemes that paid people for the solar energy they collected and used in their homes had not helped.
"The generosity was to the point of absurdness, and that was paid for by people who don't have solar panels,” Mr Sims said. - Stephen Lloyd