Family braces for power price rise
FOR little Elijah to sleep in cool comfort, Rockhampton mum Candice Girdler may have to cut back other electricity costs around the house with prices set to soar.
When the 27-year-old and her husband, who are living off one wage, heard power prices could surge by up to 14.5%, they had every reason to be worried.
The family has already reduced its electricity use so baby Elijah can sleep in an air-conditioned room.
While the 14.5% increase reported in southern media was later confirmed by Ergon Energy to be a “worst-case scenario” for next year, residents like the Girdler family are still facing a possible 13.63% increase in power costs in July.
The young family do all they can to cut back on power, and for them, their $270 quarterly power bill is already putting a dent in their wallet.
A 13.63% hike would put their current bill up over $300.
“Paying off a mortgage and car, along with the extra costs of living is tough enough without price rises in our power bill,” Candice said.
She said times were even tougher while they were living on one wage so she could stay at home and look after her 10-month-old son.
Southern media reported Ergon Energy could be putting power prices up 14.5%, an extra $280 for the average consumer.
But in February this year, The Morning Bulletin was given figures from the Queensland Competition Authority, which benchmarks retail costs.
In a draft decision to be released next month, the authority estimated the increase in costs to be 13.63% for 2009-10.
Ergon Energy chief financial officer Greg Evans reportedly said the 14.5% increase was in a report written last November at the pointy end of the credit crunch, and its next submission wouldn't look anything like this.
The Queensland Government yesterday said Queensland electricity distributors were currently working on submissions to put to the Australian Energy Regulator for distribution prices for the five-year period starting in 2010-2011.
Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said the Bligh Government understood the impact of rising electricity prices on household budgets.
- A possible 14.5% increase reported in southern media was later confirmed by Ergon Energy to be a worst-case scenario for next year.
- A possible 13.63% increase in power costs in July has been anticipated by Queensland Competition Authority, which benchmarks retail costs.