WA Electricity Market Deregulation

01 Jun 2001Archived News Climate Change Matters

From 1 July 2001, customers in WA using over 2 GWh of electricity per annum are scheduled to become contestable. As a result, almost 300 customers will be eligible to negotiate an electricity contract with the retailer of their choice for the first time.

 

However, competition in the WA electricity market is still limited, with Western Power the main retailer in the state. The lack of competition in both the retail and generation sectors has meant that previous stages of deregulation have yielded limited price benefits to customers. Entry into the WA market is also hampered by a more complex access regime. WA is not part of the NEM and does not exhibit the same degree of retailer/generator/customer separation.

The ineffectiveness of the existing deregulated market has, at least in part, been recognised by the newly elected government, which has undertaken to make changes to improve the state of competition in the electricity market.

It is difficult at this stage to predict pricing trends for the next round of contestable customers. If we use the 8 GWh tranche as an indication, small reductions might be expected for the larger, high load factor users. The chances of a reduction will probably be higher if negotiations begin as soon as possible after July 1st 2001.

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