Updated | Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s energy plan cannot succeed unless state governments agree to deregulate retail prices and roll out smart meters, power company Origin says.
“Ms Gillard announced five proposals on Sunday which she said were designed to curb electricity price rises and could save households $250 each a year.
■ Reducing incentives for state-owned distributors to over-invest in poles and wires by speeding up implementation of the Expert Panel Review of the Limited Merits Review Regime and developing national reliability standards;
■ Creating a Consumer Challenge Panel with the energy regulator to advocate for energy users and setting up a national consumer advocacy centre;
■ Spending an extra $23 million a year on the Australian Energy Regulator;
■ Urging state governments to introduce time of use pricing and roll out smart meters;
■ Urging state governments to deregulate retail prices.
Origin spokesman Phil Craig welcomed time of use pricing but said two critical elements were missing: full retail price deregulation and a full commitment and schedule for the roll out of smart meters.
“The right things are being said, the challenge is: in what time frame are we going to see state governments fully deregulate retail prices?” …”
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