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Australian electricity prices among world's highest

22nd Mar 2012

You might have noticed rises in the cost of electricity over recent years - and it seems you are not alone.

A new report has found that Australians are paying some of the highest prices for their electricity in the world, a trend that shows no sign of abating.

Commissioned by the Energy Users' Association of Australia (EUAA), the study identified that the cost of electricity is having a major impact on the cost of living.

This is despite the widely-held belief that Australia has some of the lowest energy costs in the world, as figures show that prices are higher than those in Japan, the European Union, the US and Canada.

In fact, prices in four of Australia's eight states and territories were in the top six countries, states and provinces included in the comparison.

South Australia ranked in third-highest position, New South Wales in fourth, while Victoria took fifth position and Western Australia sixth.

Roman Domanski, executive director of the EUAA, explained that the other states and territories rank outside the top ten, but are still in the highest third in global terms.

As the cost of electricity rises for Australians, many of you will no doubt be looking to cut back on your consumption to lower bills.

This was confirmed by a recent report from the Australian Energy Market Commission, which found that eastern and south-eastern Australia have seen a fall in demand for energy.

Not only are many of you watching your finances, but also turning to renewable energy sources such as solar panels in order to reduce the amount of electricity sourced from the grid.

However, Mr Domanski anticipates there will be further price rises on the horizon, especially when the carbon tax comes into force on July 1.

"The results also show that Australia's prices can be expected to increase further and significantly in the next few years, which is likely to make our electricity prices the highest in the world," he commented.

This is despite Australia benefiting from fossil fuels, production facilities and relatively inexpensive overhead power lines, whereas other countries rely on a constrained supply of resources.

Such high prices are largely due to the charges from transporting electricity over poles and wires and renewable energy subsidies - they make up around 50 per cent of the overall bill.

Electricity reforms proposed in the 1990s initially supported Australia's competitive advantage, but "little has been done since", Mr Domanski concluded.

Posted by Mike Peacock


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