Full response from Craig Kelly

In relation to this FactCheck on electricity prices, Liberal MP Craig Kelly sent the following comments and sources to support his statement:

Firstly, RenewEconomy – a pro renewable energy website.

They quote prices (in US cents per kilowatt hour) in the USA at 12 cents per kilowatt hour and Australia at 29 cents – so on their numbers it’s actually closer to 2.4 times higher rather than double. These costs are described as “average national electricity prices” which I’d take as both businesses and households.

However, I’d note that these figures can bounce around a bit subject to exchange rate fluctuations.

Secondly, a report titled Electricity Prices in Australia: An International Comparison by CME (an energy economics consultancy focused on Australian electricity, gas and renewables markets) concludes:

“In 2011/12 average household electricity prices in Australia (just under 25 cents/kWh) were 12% higher than average prices in Japan, 33% higher than the EU, 122% higher than the US.”

Figure 3 of the report contains a comparison of 2011 household electricity prices for the 91 countries, states and provinces in the comparison. This shows that the Australian states of South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia are paying three to four times more for electricity than US states such as Washington, Utah, Idaho and North Dakota.

Thirdly, a report titled 2015 Residential Electricity Price Trends lists [on page 212] the average Australian price at 28.72 cents per kilowatt hour for 2014/2015.

In comparison, the US Energy Information Administration lists the average price for residential electricity [in the US] at 10.44 cents for 2014.

Converting 10.44 US cents at A$1/US$0.74 – is the equivalent of 14.11 cents Australia.

So using these sources (in Australian cents) we have 14.11 cents in the USA and 28.72 cents in Australia.

Therefore I think to say to that “we’re paying twice the cost of the US for electricity” (on average) is pretty much right on the money.

However, it’s also fair to say many Australians (NSW, VIC, SA, WA, QLD) are paying three to four times higher for their electricity than many states in the US.