NSW electricity rates could once again skyrocket from next July if network companies win a legal challenge to a pricing determination made by the Australian Energy Regulator. 

Prices for this financial year are already in place and will not be affected by the challenge regardless of the outcome. But if the networks are successful in their bid, NSW households could end up paying more than $500 per year more than they would otherwise over the course of the following three years, according to Jessica Irvine at the Sydney Morning Herald

Network counterparts from Queensland, Victoria and South Australia will be attending the proceedings, which begin today. 

The networks argue that the increases are necessary to recover $5.72 billion in lost revenues. Network costs make up close to 50% of electricity charges, and because they are by nature monopolies, their prices must be publicly regulated. 

The challenge takes place against the backdrop of widespread rooftop solar PV adoption and growing interest in energy storage across the nation. Highly electricity rates – coupled with low solar installation prices – are the primary reasons for these trends. Australia currently leads the world in home solar penetration. 

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

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