Hazelwood closure responsible for pushing prices up

A Grattan Institute report (July 2018) confirms the closure of the Hazelwood Power Station is a key driver of skyrocketing electricity bills across Victoria.

In the report, the Grattan Institute identified that Hazelwood’s March 2017 “closure reduced supply and pushed prices up”.

Hazelwood’s closure has also limited wholesale competition, forcing prices up even more.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath, said that under Labor Victorians are now paying $300 more for electricity, $500 more for gas with no end to the price pain in sight.

“When the Andrews Labor government forced the early closure of Hazelwood, 22 per cent of Victoria’s energy supply was ripped out of the market, wholesale electricity prices rose by 85 per cent and household electricity bills have jumped by $300.”

On a local level Latrobe Valley businesses and households are experiencing electricity bill pain.  Latrobe Flowers & Craft business owners are one business that has reported an increase in electricity costs.  Owners John and Deb Maselli said their electricity bills have risen 20 per cent on average since Hazelwood’s closure.

“It is a fact that wholesale electricity prices have more than doubled across Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) and it is causing financial pain for consumers,” said Ms Bath.

Prior to Hazelwood closing, Victoria was a net exporter of electricity to NSW, now Victoria is a net importer of electricity.

“The situation today is Victoria is now exporting significantly less electricity and importing huge amounts more, generally at a much higher price than was available when Hazelwood was in operation.

“Incredibly over summer Victoria imported 2577 per cent more power from NSW between December and the end of February compared to the previous summer,” said Ms Bath.

Sheridan Bond, The Nationals candidate for Morwell said the Andrews Labor Government is directly responsible for the increase in electricity prices.

“By tripling the coal tax and forcing the premature closure of Hazelwood Daniel Andrews has ripped competition from the electricity market and Latrobe Valley households and businesses are consequently feeling the pain.

“Electricity prices are continuing to have a huge impact on local business as prices continue to soar.  Unfortunately the increased costs created by the Andrews Labor Government are passed on to individual consumers which places households under further financial pressure,” said Ms Bond.