Savings for tens of thousands of WA businesses under electricity reforms; report

Monday, 14 March 2022

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA welcomes the release of analysis today, which shows tens of thousands of WA businesses could save money under our recommended electricity retail market reform.

24,500 WA businesses in the South-West interconnected system could be better off under a lower contestability threshold of 20MWh, according to KPMG analysis.

Three in five (60%) businesses in WA cite concerns about rising operating costs, up from 16% in March last year, as they continue to grapple with uncertainty, supply chain issues and chronic worker shortages. Reform would particularly benefit the small and medium businesses who have been under such pressure during the pandemic, with increased competition bringing about lower prices, as today’s report shows.

Under current rules, only large or industrial businesses – those which use over 50 megawatt hours of electricity – can choose an alternative supplier at a more competitive price. It means small and medium businesses, or those on sub-meters in shops or retail precincts, can’t benefit from the lower prices produced by competition.

Three quarters of the organisations responding to CCIWA surveys agreed that reform would better enable them to invest and grow their business over the next five years.

Increasing the number of contestable customers would also encourage private investment in new generation assets, including sustainable energy sources.

CCIWA strongly supports lowering the contestability threshold to 20MWh, which would ease price pressure on small and medium businesses, and boost the market for private supply of greener energy. We commend this and other proposals to improve economic conditions in WA contained in CCIWA’s Pre Budget Submission.

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