On Thursday 22 June, Western Australia’s Energy Minister, the Hon Ben Wyatt announced changes to Synergy’s regulated electricity retail tariffs. The changes will see the fixed supply charge of electricity nearly double, from 48.5 cents per day to 94.4 cents per day. This move is likely to see the representative household pay an extra $169 (10.9%) for their electricity annually. The changes take effect from 1 July.
The increase in the fixed fee will result in Synergy’s fixed fee component being at the same level as Western Power’s fixed fee for residential customers.
The Hon Ben Wyatt acknowledged the burden of these changes will be shared across the community. However, this is the first time in recent memory that the increase in fees has been lumped solely on the fixed charge. This move is likely to disappoint rooftop solar panel owners who will not be able to mitigate the increases to their electricity bills.
Some commentators have said that this decision may accelerate defection from the grid as people seek cheaper sources of electricity using a combination of solar panels and battery storage.