A CALL from the New South Wales Energy and Water Ombudsman for a national debate on the impact of power prices has been welcomed by Energy Minister Chris Hartcher.
The State Government has commissioned the Australian Energy Market Comission to undertake a review of NSW licence conditions with the intention of stopping any over-spending by energy networck which could force up power prices.
"The previous Labor Government issued Licence Conditions on the electricity network businesses in NSW that required huge capital expenditure on the electricity network," Mr Hartcher said.
The Minister said electricity prices rose in NSW by more than 50% under the previous government, a situation he said the O'Farrell government is trying to control by implementing reforms.
"We have capped electricity dividends at forecast levels and require electricity company directors to personally certify that dividend payments place no additional pressure on prices or reliability of supply," he said.
"We have also commenced reform of the state's three electricity distribution businesses to place downward pressure on network charges, which contribute to around half the total cost of electricity bills."
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