An Origin spokesperson says the company will support their customers, after a report released on December 14 suggested that household power bills could increase by $78 in the eastern states.
“If any Origin customer feels like they may have difficulty paying their energy bills, we encourage them to ring us so we can have a chat and find a solution,” he said. The report was released by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) which showed that the impending closure of the Hazelwood power station in Victoria could elevated bills.
The Origin spokesperson said the company is happy to help customers experiencing short-term or long-term financial difficulty, with flexible payment arrangements and access to other types of assistance as needed.
Meanwhile Essential Energy network regulation manager Natalie Lindsay said the company’s network prices are regulated and approved by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and apply to customers who are connected to Essential Energy’s distribution network.
“These prices are subject to annual review in accordance with pricing determinations by the AER,” she said.
Ms Lindsay said that about 50 per cent of a customer’s electricity bill comprises network prices, while the remainder is made up of wholesale, retail, and environmental policy costs. The wholesale generation costs, Ms Lindsay said fall into the retail component of electricity bills and have no impact on Essential Energy’s business model.
Since July 2012, Essential Energy has been undertaking reforms to improve capital and operating efficiencies.