Restoring confidence in public statements by independently testing and verifying the facts
Does NSW have the highest power prices in the developed world?
By Louise Evans, James Lane & Tiffanie Turnbull
"Power prices in NSW are the highest in the developed world".
NSW Labor election advertisement. March 20, 2019.
AAP FactCheck examined NSW Labor’s campaign claim that NSW power prices are the most expensive in the developed world. 
AAP FactCheck found no evidence to support the claim.
The United Nations classifies countries into one of three broad categories: developed economies, economies in transition and developing economies. Developed countries include the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. 
NSW Labor did not respond to AAP FactCheck requests to provide a source for its campaign claim.
A NSW Labor Facebook post on March 20, 2019 about electricity prices uses a headline from a July 2016 report in The Sunday Telegraph which states “Power shock: NSW families pay highest electricity prices in the world”. 
The story quotes “new research by a leading economics consultancy” and states the “international price comparison by Melbourne-based CME was done for One Big Switch”. The story further states News Corp Australia, publisher of The Sunday Telegraph, is a shareholder of One Big Switch. 
AAP FactCheck examined the same report from the same independent Australian economics consultancy CME Carbon + Energy Markets MarkIntell dated July 2016 and found Victoria and South Australia both had more expensive electricity prices than NSW and most households in Europe, Great Britain, Japan and the United States. 
An August 2017 report from the the same Carbon + Energy Markets' MarkIntell consultancy showed South Australia had the highest electricity prices in the world. NSW was ranked fifth most expensive on the MarkIntell table behind Denmark, Germany and Italy. 
Two other reports showed South Australia, not NSW, has the most expensive electricity prices compared to other Australian states and developed countries.
A 2018 list of countries and regions with the highest electricity prices, based on figures from Finnish research and advisory firm VaasaEtt and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), ranked South Australia third behind Germany (number two) and Denmark (number one). NSW was ranked fifth after Spain.
German data provider Statista, which published the list, noted “the situation is a far cry from 2004, when Australia claimed the fourth cheapest electricity prices in the OECD”. 
According to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) 2018 annual report which compared electricity price trends among Australian states, South Australia had the highest prices with NSW second in 2017/2018. The AEMC report titled Residential Electricity Price Trends further predicted NSW would drop from second highest to third behind South Australia and West Australia in 2018/19. The AEMC annual reports are prepared at the request of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council.
The AEMC report also predicted NSW residents would reap further price savings as the NSW Government was “delivering a range of new programs to provide clean and affordable energy for the people of NSW. These programs will assist households and businesses to save money on their energy bills.” 
Two other reports which compared Australian electricity prices with developed countries showed Australia was far from the most expensive.
A 2017 ACCC report which compared retail electricity prices among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries found Australia was one of the cheapest. In a list of 30 countries Australia was the 22nd most expensive or the eighth cheapest based on 2016 electricity prices. Portugal was the most expensive and Norway was the cheapest. 
International Energy Agency statistics on world energy prices for the first quarter of 2018 showed Australia was ranked eighth most expensive among 35 developed nations for household electricity prices per megawatt-hour. Megawatt-hour is the period of time for which the amount of electrical power is used. 
- False - The checkable claims are all false.
1: ‘Facebook the medium as pollies target voters with mixed messages’. By Nigel Gladstone. The Sydney Morning Herald. March 20, 2019: https://www.smh.com.au/nsw-election-2019/facebook-the-medium-as-pollies-target-voters-with-mixed-messages-20190227-p510hx.html
2: ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects. Country classification. Data sources, country classifications and aggregation methodology’. United Nations. 2014: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/wesp/wesp_current/2014wesp_country_classification.pdf
3: ‘The Liberals & Nationals are to blame for electricity prices’ NSW Labor. Facebook. March 20, 2019: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2255843687997671
4: ‘Power shock: NSW families pay highest electricity prices in the world’. By John Rolfe. The Sunday Telegraph. July 10, 2016: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/power-shock-nsw-families-pay-highest-electricity-prices-in-the-world/news-story/75368ed35e0a817d403868636253e616
5: ‘International comparison of Australia’s household electricity prices, a report prepared for consumer network, One Big Switch’. CME Carbon + Energy Markets MarkIntell. July 2016: http://cmeaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/160708-FINAL-REPORT-OBS-INTERNATIONAL-PRICE-COMPARISON.pdf
6: ‘Australian households pay highest power prices in world’. By Ben Potter and Andrew Tillett. Financial Review. August 5, 2017: https://www.afr.com/news/australian-households-pay-highest-power-prices-in-world-20170804-gxp58a
7: ‘Australia’s electricity affordability problem’, By Simon O’Dea. Statista. July 18, 2018: https://www.statista.com/chart/14751/australias-electricity-affordability-problem/
8: ‘Residential Electricity Price Trends’. Australian Energy Market Commission annual report. December 21, 2018. Trends in representative residential electricity prices across States 2017/18 - 20/21 (Page 5): https://www.datocms-assets.com/6959/1545274459-2018-residential-electricity-price-trends-final-report.PDF
9: ‘Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry’ preliminary report. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). September 22, 2017 (Page 24): https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Retail%20Electricity%20Inquiry%20-%20Preliminary%20report%20-%2013%20November%202017.pdf
10: ‘Key world energy statistics’. International Energy Agency. 2018: https://www.iea.org/statistics/kwes/prices/
- First published March 20, 2019 18:33 AEDT