A massive increase in Western Power’s proposed street lighting tariffs for 2023-24 is unexpected and unjustified and, if approved, will impact ratepayers and residents. 

Western Power has proposed an average 44 per cent increase in street lighting in their 2023-24 Price List, which was recently submitted to Western Australia’s independent economic regulator, the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA), for approval.

This massive, proposed increase has not been factored into Local Government budgets, which were based on an estimated 2.81 per cent increase in street lighting tariffs in last year’s state budget.

WALGA President Cr Karen Chappel said many Local Governments have already indicated they will be forced to increase their rates, or cut services to their local communities as a result of the unexpected and proposed price hike by Western Power.

“An increase of this magnitude was not expected or planned for and will have a significant financial impact on Local Government budgets and, ultimately, the local communities they serve,” she said.

“Depending on the number and types of lights in each Local Government area, the financial impact could range from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars per year.

“In last year’s State Budget, the Forward Estimates showed a 2.81 per cent increase in the street lighting tariff for 2023-24.  This 44 per cent increase needs to be justified and Western Power has not done that.

“WALGA has written to the ERA asking it to seek evidence from Western Power for this  significant tariff increase for street lighting."

 A decision on whether to accept the proposed Western Power price hike is expected to be made by the ERA on 17 May.

“The timing of the decision-making process also needs to be questioned, given the State Budget will be handed down six days before the ERA will make its decision,” Cr Chappel said.