Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Street lighting price hike

Deniliquin Council faces a massive increase for the cost of its street lighting.

July 18, 2014 3:50am

Deniliquin Council will be hit with a massive price hike for the cost of its street lighting.

Council faces a 102 per cent price increase, Murray Shire Council an 80 per cent increase and Conargo Shire 81 per cent.

Essential Energy charges Riverina councils to run and maintain the public lighting infrastructure.

In a recent report, the company has proposed to increase its revenue for providing street lighting services from July next year to 2019.

Council general manager Des Bilske said it was a ‘‘quite substantial increase’’ and one council would have to investigate. The increase will cost council an extra $38,285 in 2015/2016.

‘‘We would have to find that money from somewhere or work out how we could reduce costs for electricity consumption,’’ Mr Bilske said.

‘‘Council will need to find out what this is going to mean for us.

‘‘Now that the report is out we will have to look at our budget and next year’s budget to see how we can reduce costs in street lighting.

‘‘The costs are quite substantial and basically mean one person’s full-time employment.’’

According to the Essential Energy report, the proposed increases are in accordance with National Electricity Rules.

Essential Energy says the new model will better reflect the costs of public lighting services.

‘‘In the past the cost of these services has been under-recovered,’’ an Essential Energy spokesperson said in a statement.

‘‘The new model proposes more cost-reflective tariffs which aim to ensure effective, efficient and compliant operations during the next regulatory period.

‘‘To assist councils in budget planning, increases covered under our transitional regulatory proposal (1 July, 2014 to 30 June, 2015) will be in line with the Consumer Price Index.

‘‘Essential Energy is then proposing a range of more substantial increases required to cover the full cost of the public lighting service from July 1, 2015.

‘‘If our proposal is accepted by the Australian Energy Regulator, the level of increase will obviously differ according to each council’s public lighting circumstances.

‘‘The AER is expected to make a draft determination on our Substantive Regulatory Proposal in November, 2014 with its final determination due to be issued on 30 April, 2015.’’

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