What will families save on their bills? According to Mr Hunt, anywhere between seven and nine per cent, depending on which state they live in. If people are expecting big savings, however, they may be disappointed. The peak body for energy suppliers, the Energy Supply Association of Australia, says the savings will be between 20 and 50 cents a day.
Our bills have doubled in the last few years, and our electricity is now amongst the world’s most expensive. But for all the sound and fury out of Canberra about the price of power, most Australians still don’t really understand what’s made their electricity so expensive.
‘The main reason that electricity has been getting dearer is the overinvestment in poles and wires, and the fundamental inefficiency in the way that the national electricity market’s working,’ says Richard Denniss, executive director of the Australia Institute.
Federal Treasury estimates that 51 per cent of an average household bill is spent on network charges (compared to nine per cent on the carbon tax). Most of that is going towards paying off the $45 billion network companies have spent on updating and building new poles and wires over the last five years.
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