It seems Julia Gillard's plans to save consumers $250 a year on power bills may already have been sandbagged in New South Wales.
There are more price rises in the offing for many consumers in the state which Federal Labor has identified as crucial to its hopes for re-election next year.
One of NSW's biggest electricity suppliers, Energy Australia, has outlined plans to put prices up by 10.5 per cent over the next three years.
At the weekend, Ms Gillard announced a reform package in which she wants to give more funding to the national energy regulator and set up new consumer groups to keep power prices down.
The Commonwealth wants to put an end to the "perverse incentive" to overinvest in poles and wires, and give consumers more access to information about their electricity usage through the installation of so-called smart meters.
Ms Gillard is hoping to reach an agreement on the plan at a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting of state and territory leaders on Friday.
But state and territory leaders are calling for more details before signing up.
In NSW, the chairman of the state's Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), Peter Boxall, says competition is the best guarantee of lowest possible prices for electricity.
"In our view, effective competition, where retailers strive to offer customers products and services they value, is the best way to ensure that prices are driven towards the efficient cost of supply," he said.
"However, we expect that the main driver of recent electricity price increases - rising network costs - will ameliorate over the next three years." Despite that perspective, the retailers' outlook is for higher prices across New South Wales.
Energy Australia, which supplies electricity and gas to 1.1 million businesses, is proposing to raise prices by up to 4.5 per cent from next July.
It also predicts a further rise of 3 per cent from 2014, and another 3 per cent the year after that.
Origin Energy, which covers western Sydney, the Illawarra, as well as regional and rural NSW, is also predicting price rises.
"We expect that a reasonable regulated electricity price path across the regulatory period would see price increases above CPI, but nowhere near replicating the recent year-on-year double digit price increases," said spokesman Frank Calabria.
Reducing business costs Business and industry are looking for substance rather than stunts and politicking come Friday.
Innes Willox, from the Australian Industry Group (AIG), says he hoped there can be real outcomes determined in the national interest.
"There are a series of measures that are being put forward that are really important for industry," he said.
"You've got a proposal that would provide incentives to users, including industry, to voluntarily cut their electricity usage during the peak times, times of peak demand and that would be most welcome, because that would drive down costs.
"Our electricity system broadly is focused around those five or six days a year that are either really hot or quite cold where peak demand goes through the roof.
"If we can do important things, sensible things, to reduce demand during those periods of high stress on the network, that should reduce costs for all.
"If we can provide incentives for business to do that, business would be very quick to take that up I'm sure.
"And we've got other systems around a more formal role for energy users, including businesses in decision-making processes around electricity network investment.
"That's really positive because it will get industry involved in the decision-making process."