Minister flags power price surge
WA Energy Minister Ben Wyatt has indicated household electricity prices could have to rise by up to 15 per cent within two years as part of moves to allow people to choose from whom they buy their power.
Mr Wyatt said he wanted to end State-owned power provider Synergy’s monopoly over the residential electricity market “sooner rather than later”.
He was unable to provide a deadline but said it would be “wonderful” to achieve the timetable set out by the previous government of July 2019.
Mr Wyatt, who is also Treasurer, said the retail war in the natural gas market was clear evidence of the benefits of competition and he wanted them replicated in the electricity sector.
But to achieve “full retail contestability”, he conceded the gap between the cost to Synergy of providing electricity and what it was able to charge would have to be bridged.
And Mr Wyatt acknowledged the gap between prices and “costreflective” tariffs was now about 15 per cent. While he said he would focus on closing the gap as much as possible by cutting Synergy’s costs and making it more efficient, inevitably household prices would have to rise to cover much of the difference.