How Essential Energy spent $1.7m to fight against lower electricity prices

NSW Treasury documents reveal that Essential Energy spent $1.7 million on legal fees to fight against lower electricity prices.

The power giant's price cut fight comes as households face climbing power bills.

For two years the independent Australian Energy Regulator (AER) tried to reduce energy bills for households and businesses.

But Essential Energy fought the price cuts that would have saved an average household $313 a year.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information by NSW Labor show that Essential Energy spent $1,774,866 to challenge the AER’s price cuts.

Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park said families and small businesses are facing record power bills because the LNP Government did everything it could to drive the price up ahead of privatisation.

“The Liberal-National Government has completely lost control of electricity prices, and residents are increasingly having difficulty balancing the family budget under the Nats," he said.

But NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Government had a tough choice between supporting jobs for Essential Energy workers or the AER’s price cuts.

“What the regulator would have had us do would have cost hundreds of country jobs,” she said.

“We did not want to see jobs lost in regional and rural areas, the regulator hadn’t considered that in their decision, which is why we appealed the decision. We are doing everything we can to lower cost of living expenses.”

This story How Essential Energy spent $1.7m to fight against lower electricity prices first appeared on The Land.