Energy Price Rises In NSW And SA From July 1

Gas and electricity prices - NSW and SA

More gas and electricity price hip pocket pain : Image: Laura Mason

Residential and small business electricity customers in South Australia and New South Wales are about to get whacked with hefty increases in power costs.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday AGL’s residential customers in New South Wales are facing increases of 16 per cent for electricity in the next financial year. Gas prices will jump 9.3 per cent.

The ABC reports power prices are to rise by 18 per cent for AGL customers in South Australia from July 1. The Advertiser says gas customers can expect to pay about $150 a year more.

The increases in both states apply to customers on standing contracts.

AGL has reportedly blamed the situation on rising wholesale market prices driven by increasing gas costs and limited availability of the fuel on the east coast, the closure of ageing coal-fired power station and an uncertain policy environment.

According to South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis, 15% of South Australians are on AGL’s standing contract and he’s advised customers to shop around for a better deal. Mr Koutsantonis stated  the increases are “unsustainable” and that reforms from the Finkel Review report “couldn’t be more urgent.”

While the price hikes announced last week are just in relation to AGL, it’s expected other retailers will announce their own increases for both states this week.

Already announced were electricity and gas price increases in the ACT from July 1 that translate to an extra $580 a year in energy costs for the average household in Canberra.

Late last month, Western Australia’s Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said household electricity prices could have to rise by up to 15 per cent over the next two years.

Energy retailers have been expanding their hardship programs in preparation for increases. In relation to New South Wales, St Vincent de Paul’s Gavin Dufty said last week families should “hold onto their seats and get ready for a bumpy ride” as based on wholesale futures, “there doesn’t seem to be much relief for at least 1.5 to 2 years”.

As well as shopping around electricity retailers for the best deal, the rises provide an even more compelling case for installing a solar power system, and no doubt recent announcements will trigger an increase in the number of Australians seeking solar quotes.

Another silver lining to this very dark cloud for solar households is that with the increase in electricity rates, solar feed in tariffs may also get a boost.

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. Chris Thaler says

    Have I been under the wrong impression re ACT power.
    As far as I knew the ACT had locked in fixed pricing from the renewable sources that have gained long term supply contracts.
    The figure of $0.17 per KWh rings a bell.

  2. Bernoodist says

    AGL has a 8c FIT now for NSW , any ideas on what this may increase to, and the other issue is that it only may increase as FIT is not mandatory…

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Bernoodist, Ronald here. I could not say how much AGL’s feed-in tariff may increase to. Unless they are forced to, AGL may not increase it further at all. But Origin Energy is currently offering a 10 cent feed-in tariff in NSW while others are offering 11.6 cents. (Ignore Origin’s 12 cent feed-in tariff. That’s only for 12 months for people who buy a solar system off them, but they keep spruiking it as though it doesn’t have strings attached, much to my chagrin.) Note that plans with the highest feed-in tariff won’t necessarily give the lowest overall electricity bill. Often electricity plans give with one hand and take with the other.

      You can check feed-in tariffs and other detail of retail electricity plans in your area by using our comparison tool:

      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/energy/

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