Photo Credit: Clearly Ambiguous via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Clearly Ambiguous via Compfight cc

Interestingly – but probably not surprisingly – any posts on heating in Tasmania are very popular! So for that reason, an update for you on electricity in Tassie.

From January 2014 the retailing of electricity in Tasmania will be opened up to new retailers. At the moment, Aurora is the only retailer.

However, as The Mercury reports below, following the initial couple of years when tariffs are controlled, the pricing of electricity in Tasmania will potentially increase if current discounts disappear.

You can also read our earlier post on heating in Tasmania which provides information on gas as another option. Mains gas is not available everywhere, but it is spreading and it a strong alternative to electricity.

This story from The Mercury.

Home costs heat up

Heating tariffs for Tasmanians to warm their homes at a cheaper rate could be a thing of the past with the introduction of new retailers.

The State Government has asked new retailers entering the Tasmanian market to honour Aurora’s hydro heat tariff for the first 2½ years but after July 2016 the discount will be up to new retailers.

Currently 65,528 Tasmanian customers get a discounted usage rate for hot water and space heating of 17.057 cents per kW — compared with the light and power tariff of 28.283 cents per kW.

A price comparison from Victoria shows retailers that may wish to enter the Tasmanian market are not so generous with their heating tariffs.

Energy companies in Victoria, some of which are expected to enter the Tasmanian market, do not offer a specific tariff for space heating.

A breakdown of 23 energy plans shows cheaper prices are only available during the off-peak times — typically between 11pm and 7am.

The off-peak prices vary between 12.562 cents and 18.656 cents per kW but prices for the rest of the day vary between 25.938 cents and 39.413 cents per kW.

The State Government said yesterday all new retailers would be obligated to maintain Aurora’s current price structure for the initial price period of 2½ years.

“Customers will also have the option to move to a market contract offered by new retailers,” spokesman Michael Stedman said.

“The Tasmanian Economic Regulator will have the role of ensuring that tariff changes do not have a disproportionate impact on consumers as is currently the case when Aurora seeks to change its tariffs.”

Mr Stedman said overall energy prices were expected to fall when Full Retail Contestability and wholesale regulation is introduced in January next year.

Do you think competition in electricity retailing will be a good thing for Tasmanians?