WA’s independent economic regulator has rejected Western Power’s proposed 43.85% street lighting tariff price hike, a decision that if approved would have been a major impost for Local Governments.
In making its decision today, the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) made an exception to Western Power’s proposed price list.
The exception to this is the street light costs and proposed street light tariff, which Western Power proposed to increase by 43.85 per cent. The ERA acknowledges Local Governments’ concerns on street lighting tariffs.”
The ERA has instead approved a 7.5% increase in the network component of the streetlight tariff for 2023-24, in line with their forecast of the average increase in network charges.
Local Governments were blindsided when Western Power lodged its proposed 2023/24 price list on April 27.
Western Power’s proposed 43.85% increase in the street light tariff was unexpected and had not been factored into Local Government budgets.
In last week’s State Budget, street lighting tariffs were projected to increase by 4.8% across in 2023-24, well below Western Power’s 43.85% proposal.
WALGA President Cr Karen Chappel said the feedback from Local Governments in the past two weeks had been swift and there had been considerable anger at the quantum and timing of the proposed increase by Western Power.
“Local Governments were well into the process of finalising Budgets for 2023-24 when this proposed street light tariff price shock by Western Power was lodged with the ERA,” she said.
“As Local Governments bear the costs of street lighting, a rise of this magnitude would have meant either rate increases for residents or a cut in services for the community.
“WALGA encouraged Local Governments to present their case to the ERA, and WALGA itself wrote to the ERA seeking evidence from Western Power to justify this unexpected and significant tariff increase.
“As the peak body for Local Government in WA, WALGA is pleased that the ERA has committed to working with the Association and Western Power to resolve street light tariffs going forward.”