6 June 2022
Today’s Legislative Council Estimates Committee hearing has revealed the Tasmanian Government’s decision to maintain the $40 aurora+ product fee will impose higher electricity charges on 130,000 Tasmanian households and small businesses.
TasCOSS CEO Ms Adrienne Picone said the aurora+ product fee remains a barrier for tens of thousands of households seeking to benefit from better managing their energy usage and costs.
“In the midst of a cost of living crisis, we should be pulling all possible levers to help households lower their electricity bills,” Ms Picone said.
“How can the Government argue on one hand the aurora+ product is an important tool for Tasmanians to address cost of living pressures, better understand and manage their power usage and mitigate bill shock, yet at the same time request Aurora maintains the $40 fee to access theses benefits?” 
“The very customers who most need the help to manage their energy usage and guard against rising costs are the ones being disadvantaged by the Government’s decision.
“Aurora’s pricing submission to the Tasmanian Economic Regulator acknowledged the product fee is a barrier to customers accessing aurora+ and projected 130,000 customers would be using the product after the fee is removed.
“Charging a product fee is out of step with customer expectations and is locking out an additional 90,000 Tasmanian households and small businesses from accessing the benefits of aurora+.
“The Government’s intervention to overrule the independent Regulator’s decision is against the advice provided to the Regulator by Aurora and consumer advocates including TasCOSS, COTA Tasmania and the Tasmanian Small Business Council.
Ms Picone said the Government was acting against the best interests of households struggling with energy bills and rising cost of living pressures.
“With Tasmania’s CPI climbing to 5.8% and consumers bracing for a spike in electricity prices coming into winter, is is questionable how charging customers an additional $40 per year to better manage their energy usage and lower their bills will help with cost of living pressures.”
For more information or to arrange an interview with TasCOSS CEO Adrienne Picone, please contact:
- Cameron Allen, 0419 769 253 or via email.