The Western Australian Government partially regulates Horizon Power’s and Synergy’s electricity prices in line with electricity by-laws, including the:
This means that Horizon Power and Synergy must make the regulated price available to their small use customers and some larger customers. Horizon Power also provides non-regulated pricing plans.
Fees and charges are also set out in the by-laws, but Synergy and Horizon Power can recommend annual adjustments.
The WA Government considers electricity tariffs at the appropriate time for subsequent financial years.
The costs of generating and transporting electricity through the network have risen sharply over the last 15 to 20 years. There is a strong global demand for generation fuels including natural gas, and increased demands on our electricity networks.
Although WA’s electricity prices have increased, the prices are still lower than the cost of supplying electricity. At the moment, the WA Government covers this difference – paying a subsidy of $367 million in the 2011–12 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:
Since 2009, the WA Government has progressively increased prices to:
move towards prices reflecting increased supply costs
support the financial viability of retailers (both private and government-owned)
partially support the Uniform Tariff Policy.
The WA 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.
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
10% in 1 April and 15% in 1 July for households
5% in April and 10% in July for small businesses
0% in April and in July for large businesses
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).