Power Price Determination Fri 22 June 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Download hi-res version Tasmania will have one of the lowest power price increases in the country under the pricing determination released by the Economic Regulator today. The Premier, Lara Giddings, said the 10.56 per cent increase was far below the 23 per cent feared earlier this year. "Through a combination of regulatory reform and direct Government action and action of the electricity businesses we have more than halved the expected power price increase at a cost of $37 million, using the benefits of the carbon price," Ms Giddings said. "As a result of this reform, Tasmania will have one of the lowest power price increases of all states, with NSW and South Australia facing increases of 18 per cent (see graph below). Ms Giddings said around half of the increase was attributable to the carbon price, for which many Tasmanian households had already started receiving compensation from the Commonwealth. Benefits have begun flowing under the Family Tax Benefit system and through bonuses to pensioners. "Of course, we acknowledge that a 10 per cent increase will still impact on households, which is why we have indexed our concessions for Tasmanians most in need. "Our concession system is already one of the most comprehensive in the nation and eligible pensioners and health care card holders will now receive around $450 off their annual power bills. "In addition, under Aurora Energy's Hardship Policy, more than $368,000 will be allocated to the Salvation Army to distribute to people experiencing difficulty in paying their electricity bills." Ms Giddings said the State Government had embarked on ambitious reform of the energy sector which will deliver choice to consumers and put downward pressure on power price rises into the future. "It has always been the Government's position to have competition and choice for consumers, and we now have a clear blueprint to achieve this by 2014 in a way that will provide real and lasting benefits."