Massive Energy Price Hike In The ACT – Rest Of Australia To Follow?

Beat electricity price rises with solar panels

Solar power to become even more attractive. | Image: cogdogblog, Public Domain

Uncertainty surrounding national energy policy has been blamed for a huge energy price hike in the ACT. This isn’t just bad news for those in Canberra – it’s perhaps a sign of things to come elsewhere in Australia.

The ACT Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission yesterday released its final report and price direction for regulated retail electricity prices for the next  three years – and the news matches the season; cold and bleak. Gas prices in the ACT will also skyrocket from next month.

ActewAGL price rises will result in an increase to the average electricity bill of $6.40 per week (+18.95%) and gas costs will jump $4.75 per week (+17.3%). This translates to a whopping $580 a year for the average household in Canberra.

ActewAGL won’t be making a motza from the electricity increase – in fact, the ICRC’s final decision has reduced ActewAGL Retail’s margin from 6.04 per cent to 5.3 per cent.

“Ten years of uncertainty in national energy policy has resulted in an unprecedented increase in gas and electricity prices from 1 July this year,” stated ActewAGL CEO Michael Costello.

Mr. Costello said that as with electricity, wholesale gas prices have close to doubled in the past year; a result ActewAGL says of Australia exporting around ten times the amount of gas we consume domestically.

The hikes will be a significant added financial burden for many people and particularly those on low incomes trying to stay warm this winter. To help address the impact, ActewAGL has also announced an Energy Support Fund that will endeavour to keep people connected.

Another ActewAGL initiative to kick in from July 1 is a Solar Grants Program for eligible community organisations.

In May, SQ blogger Ronald warned electricity bills are rising due to a lack of competition and Coalition opposition to renewables. Ronald also predicted households in all Australian states, with the possible exception of Tasmania, face electricity bill increases of roughly 20% over the next two to three years.

News of the increase will like spark renewed interest in installing solar panels in Canberra. It remains to be seen if the ACT’s solar feed in tariff will also increase, which would make solar power systems an even better investment but could impact payback on battery systems.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. ???? If one CHOOSES to get into bed with an unclean goat one has no right to complain about picking up an STD…or several.

    One COULD choose an option: one of which is self-sufficient stand-alone solar power…..and load the shotgun because sure as god made little green apples the tax-collectors will come looking for you in due course. Another option is to get off your arses and do whatever it takes to remove the politicians/bureaucrats you’re responsible for installing in the first place.

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