• Electricity pricing

    The Western Australian Government partially regulates Synergy’s and Horizon Power's electricity prices in line with the following electricity by-laws:

    This means that Horizon Power and Synergy must make the regulated price available to their small use customers and some larger customers.

    The electricity tariff by-laws set out the fees and charges Synergy and Horizon Power may charge during the course of supplying electricity to customers. Changes to electricity tariffs, fees and charges are considered by the Western Australian Government annually as part of the State Budget process.

    Supply costs

    The costs of generating and transporting electricity through the network have risen sharply over the last 15 to 20 years. Strong global demand for generation fuels has increased fuel supply costs and changes to customer energy usage have placed increased pressure on our electricity networks.

    Although Western Australia’s electricity prices have increased, the prices are still lower than the cost of supplying electricity. At the moment, the Western Australian Government covers this difference – paying an estimated subsidy of $348 million in the 2015-16 financial year.

    Uniform Tariff Policy

    The Uniform Tariff Policy means that small use Synergy and Horizon Power customers are all charged the same rate. This includes customers in remote regions, where the costs to supply electricity are considerably higher.

    The extra costs of supplying electricity to these areas are funded by:

    • electricity network charges in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS)
    • the Western Australian Government subsidy.

    Price changes

    Since 2009, the Western Australian Government has progressively increased prices to:

    • move towards, and in some cases maintain, prices that reflect actual supply costs
    • support the financial viability of retailers (both private and government-owned)

    The Western Australian Government has made changes in stages, bearing in mind impacts on customers, especially in vulnerable households. To help these households, there are various rebates and assistance. These rebates have increased in proportion to price rises.

    Other states are also facing electricity price rises.

    2016 increases

    • 3% for households and small businesses from 1 July*
    • From minus 5.4% up to 7.3% for other business tariffs from 1 September
    * Exceptions are the residential hot water heating tariff (B1) and the community and charitable organisations tariff (C1), which reduced by 9.8% and 16 % respectively.

    2015 increases

    • 4.5% for households and small businesses from 1 July
    • From minus 13.8% up to 13.5% for other business tariffs from 1 July

    2014 increases

    • 4.5% not including the removal of the carbon component for households and small businesses from 1 July
    • Up to 10% not including the removal of the carbon component for other business tariffs from 1 July

    2013 increases

    • 4% plus carbon component for households and small businesses from 1 July
    • Up to 21% plus increases to the carbon component for other business tariffs from 1 September

    2012 increases

    • 3.5% plus carbon component for households and small businesses from 1 July
    • up to 12% plus carbon component for other business tariffs from 1 July

    2011 increases

    • 5% for households and small businesses from 1 July
    • 13–29% for large businesses from 1 July

    2010 increases

    • 7.5% in 1 April and 10% in 1 July for households
    • 7.5% in April and 10% in July for small businesses
    • 7.5% in April and up to 10% in July for large businesses

    2009 increases

    • 10% in 1 April and 15% in 1 July for households
    • 5% in April and 10% in July for small businesses
    • 10% in April and in July for large businesses

    Before 2009

    Before 2009, prices for residential customers had not increased since 1997/98 (excluding GST). Prices for small business customers had not increased since 1991/92 (excluding GST). Large business tariffs increased in 2007/08 for the first time since 1992/93 (excluding GST).