Power prices to go down, but jobs are on the line

NEW South Wales households will save between $27 and $78 on their yearly power bills, but thousands of jobs are on the chopping block.

The Australian Energy Regulator has ignored threats from NSW electricity transmission and distribution companies and ordered them to slash revenues by about 30%.

Networks NSW warned in January the cuts could result in 4600 jobs being dissolved from the state's three electricity providers, including 1500 from Essential Energy.

It also said 750 apprentices would be left jobless upon graduation.

AER chair Paula Conboy said the NSW companies had been operating less efficiently to those in other states and needed to pick up their game.

"Any costs above efficient levels will need to be funded by the network owners, not customers," she said.

Electrical Trade Union secretary Steve Butler slammed the decision, saying the state had been condemned to more blackouts, reduced maintenance, and slower emergency response times.

"We saw last week why having adequate numbers of highly skilled professionals working on the electricity network is essential," he said.

"Had these cuts already been in place there is no doubt that hundreds of thousands of consumers would have endured significantly longer delays in having electricity services restored to their homes."

Network prices in NSW are double those of Victoria, meaning it costs twice as much to get electricity from a power station to a household. 


Power Play

Average annual residential savings under the new scheme

  • Endeavour Energy - $27
  • Ausgrid - $41
  • Essential Energy - $78


Topics:  electricity energy power prices

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