Victorians to pay more for electricity

Marnie Banger
Victorian households will pay up to $53.04 extra for electricity next year

Victorian households will pay up to $50 extra for electricity next year to help power distributors grapple with increased transmission costs.

But Premier Daniel Andrews says the hit to the hip pocket is better than the state having an unreliable power network.

The Australian Energy Regulator has signed off on allowing five Victorian electricity distributors - AusNet Services, CitiPower, Jemena, Powercor and United Energy - to charge power-users more for their network of poles and wires in 2020.

That means households will pay up to $53.04 extra for electricity next year, while small businesses could pay up to $212.26 more annually.

The network charge is only part of an electricity bill, with other charges including wholesale costs and retail margins.

In confirming the change from January 1, the AER stressed most Victorian power customers have paid less or about the same for the state's poles and wires in the past five years.

The latest increase comes amid rising Victorian land taxes and more power travelling long distances from interstate, the regulator noted.

Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien said its clear the Andrews' government putting up some taxes has flowed through to household budgets.

"We're now the highest taxed state in the country, we've got the highest debt in the country and the highest power prices in the country," he told reporters on Tuesday.

But Mr Andrews said higher prices were inevitable in helping power companies maintain the transmission network.

"Every now and then you'll see a bump like this and that's obviously difficult for families," he told reporters.

As Victoria braces for extreme heatwaves in the coming months, the premier said he's also confident the AER has plans in place to help keep the lights on if any issues arise.

His shadow is less optimistic.

"I'm desperately worried about Victoria this summer. I'm desperately worried that the power supply simply won't cut it," Mr O'Brien said.