New utility pricing has been announced by IPART, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, on Monday 17th June 2013.
The price of gas will rise by an average of 8.5%, with AGL customers paying an extra 9.2%, while the price of electricity will rise by only 1.7%. IPART has also said that electricity prices will rise by less than 2% next year. The electricity price rises are significant in that they are under the rate of inflation so in real terms the price of electricity is set to fall. This will be further amplified from 1 July 2015 when prices are expected to fall by as much as 6.9% due to Australia moving to a floating carbon price based on International markets.
These numbers have a potentially significant impact upon the choice between ducted air conditioning and ducted gas heating. Up until now running costs for each have been broadly similar but with the new pricing the balance has definitely tipped in favour of the air conditioners.
A significant factor in rising gas prices is the ability of the producers to obtain better prices for their gas in overseas markets.
“While we haven’t set firm prices beyond 2013, at this stage we expect electricity prices to fall behind inflation in 2014 and come down by 6.9% from 1 July 2015,” said IPART chairman Dr Peter Boxall.
“However, the situation for future gas prices remains unclear. With continued increases in gas network costs and significant uncertainty about future wholesale gas prices, we are recommending a periodic review before setting the price changes for 1 July 2014 and 2015.”