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Are you concerned about electricity prices?

20th Mar 2012

Electricity is a major household expense - and many people are filled with dread at the thought of receiving their next bill.

If you are worried about electricity prices, it appears you are not alone new research reveals that electricity costs are something that Australians are most concerned about.

Research commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) found that the rising price of energy is a worry for 58 per cent of Australians.

Residents of South Australia are the most fearful of their electricity bills, taking 41 per cent of the overall vote.

Policy director Tim Wilson responded to the Galaxy Poll findings, saying that escalating prices are clearly making Australians nervous.

"Those on low or fixed incomes are most concerned about electricity price rises that are being driven up by the mandatory renewable energy target and soon the carbon tax," he commented.

Mr Wilson emphasised that there is no relief in sight in the short term, as electricity prices look set to rise further on July 1 due to the carbon tax.

The IPA research found that those who are unemployed, over 50 years old and earning less than $40,000 are the most worried about rising electricity prices.

This follows an investigation into the electricity market by IPART - the Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal in New South Wales.

It suggested that if your property generates electricity through the use of solar panels and feeds it back into the grid, then you should be entitled to a feed-in-tariff that does not incur any charges.

This, however, should only be the case if you cannot get your hands on another NSW government incentive, such as the Solar Bonus Scheme.

The IPART inquiry was requested by state premier Barry O'Farrell back in August last year, in a bid to keep solar energy generation fair for all NSW households.

Neil Wilson from the IPA indicated that in many cases, household prices are rising as the result of "bad government policy" and therefore urged the authorities to "get a reality check".

IPART argued that potential savings on electricity bills are the main motivator for the installation of solar panels.

For example, a 1.5 kW solar photovoltaic unit with net metering has the potential to shave $300 a year off your bills, as well as earn you $50 a year from a feed-in tariff free of subsidies.

Posted by Bob Dawson


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