Electricity prices surge today


South Australian households are being hit with an average $85 increase in their annual electricity bills from today.

“The ability of South Australian households to heat their homes in winter and cool them in summer has been further reduced by today’s 4.4 per cent increase in the price of electricity,” said Shadow Minister for Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“Treasurer Koutsantonis needs to outline how he is going to ensure future price rises are in line with CPI.

“It needs to be remembered that today’s increase comes after Treasurer Koutsantonis published predictions that residential power prices would fall each year during the next three years. (Minister Koutsantonis News Release 13 December 2013)

“Providing a secure supply of power at a reasonable price is a central requirement of good government yet South Australian households are being asked to pay an additional $85 for an essential service that already costs average consumers almost $2,000 a year.

“Many South Australian households are already unable to cope with the costs of water, gas and power and this latest increase will push more customers onto hardship programs.

“Power bills have risen by more than 160 per cent since Labor came to office in 2002 despite the fact CPI has risen by only 40 per cent during the same period of time.

“There are almost 40,000 electricity customers in South Australia who owe their retailer for 90 days or more, 20,000 electricity consumers are on payment plans and 5,800 customers are on hardship programs.

“South Australians will be hit doubly hard by this increase as it will flow into their own electricity bills and the cost of goods and services produced locally.

“The Weatherill Labor Government and the former Federal Labor Government set the rules for the electricity market during the current 2010-2015 regulatory period.

“Network charges are now the largest and fastest growing component of household and small business electricity prices.”