TasCOSS commissioned a report to compare Tasmania’s residential electricity prices with those elsewhere on the mainland. The report, prepared by Goanna Energy Consulting, identified:
- Tasmanians pay the highest electricity bills in the country and historically have had high bills.
- High bills are a result of high levels of electricity consumption, due to our relatively cool climate, low penetration of natural gas and older housing stock with poor energy efficiency performance.
- The State Government’s promise of Tasmania having the lowest regulated electricity prices in the country by 2022 is not particularly meaningful to Tasmanian households. It would be more meaningful if the State Government’s aim was for Tasmania to have the most affordable and competitively-priced electricity in the country.
- Tasmanians’ electricity bills can be reduced through a combination of lower electricity prices and lower electricity use/consumption.
- The delinking from Victorian wholesale prices and capping of residential electricity prices initially benefited Tasmanian households. However, with the significant reduction in Victorian wholesale market prices this policy is now financially impacting households. Tasmanians are currently paying higher prices (than if linked to the Victorian wholesale market price), but prices have been more stable.
- Tasmania’s electricity concession scheme is the second-highest by value in the country, significantly helping to reduce recipients’ bills. However, concession customers’ bills are the third-highest in the country.
- Tasmanian residential customers received less financial support with energy costs in response to COVID-19 than households in most other jurisdictions.
This report and previous research confirm that investing in household energy efficiency will improve energy affordability and reduce power bills for Tasmanians. It also has the flow on effect of creating jobs, stimulating our economy in the post-COVID-19 recovery, lowering emissions, contributing to the state’s renewable energy goals and improving the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians.