HOUSEHOLD electricity bills are set to stabilise from mid-2013 as the need of utilities to upgrade and replace infrastructure eases, federal energy minister Martin Ferguson says.
Mr Ferguson told a conference in Sydney there was no quick fix for current electricity costs, which have risen by about 40 per cent across the nation over the past four years.
But while bills had risen substantially, the impact of network investment was easing.
“The bulk of investment in networks for this regulatory period has already occurred, with smaller increases in network charges expected in the final year of the regulatory period,” Mr Ferguson told the Australian Institute of Energy conference yesterday.
“That means household consumers are expected to see a stabilisation in the price they pay for electricity from July 2013.”
Network charges are the main component of electricity bills, ahead of wholesale energy charges.
However, Mr Ferguson said a decrease in demand for electricity would also help stabilise prices.
“While the network investment cycle appears to be nearing its peak and market forces are reducing the wholesale cost of electricity, further reforms are underway to ensure consumers are not paying more for electricity than is necessary,” he added.