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Taking care of the next generation

Queensland Electricity Prices Soar June 2011

Archived News, Posted on 01 Jun 2011

Consumers hit with 6.6% power bill increase because we didn't use enough electricity over summer

QUEENSLAND households will be penalised with higher power prices for keeping their air-conditioners off over summer.

The state's electricity price regulator, the Queensland Competition Authority, has announced a 6.6 per cent increase in power prices from July 1.

The increase will add $120 to the average bill of households already under pressure from an array of cost increases.

Power prices have now soared by more than 60 per cent since the State Government promised deregulation of the industry in the southeast would put downward pressure on prices.

Almost 80 per cent of the increase was blamed on growing network costs, the price passed on to consumers for building and maintaining the power system to cope with increasing demand.

However, lower than expected power consumption over the disaster-affected summer meant distributors did not recoup their investment costs.  And because Queensland home owners used less electricity as requested by the government and now getting slugged with this increase because the private electricty companies did not make enough money.

Those costs have now been attached to electricity prices for 2011-12, meaning households will pay extra for not using enough power this financial year. "Between 2009 and 2010 the load decreased by 2.13 per cent, reflecting the more benign temperatures during the latter months of 2010," the QCA said in a statement.

"As costs increased while the load decreased, the (electricity price) was pushed higher than it would have been had the load remained relatively constant."

Energy Minister Stephen Robertson described the outcome as "perverse" but said consumers would benefit in years when they used more power than predicted.

"As perverse as it sounds there has been a slight upward adjustment to take into account the mild summer," he said.

"But next year we could have a very hot summer and the reverse would apply under those circumstances."

He said the increase "could have been far worse".  So in essence if more electricity is used, then the electricity price would decrease... I really don't think that this would be the case.  What ever the reasons of justification for electricity price rises, they are and will coninue to rise on average 10% per year.

Queensland Council of Social Service president Karyn Walsh said the increase would push more low-income households further into poverty and targeted government assistance was needed.

Their is a way to insulate from these ridiculous, unjustified electricity increases.  If you use less electricity you still have to pay more... use more electricity and have you still have to pay more. Either way Queensland home owners have lost control of their electricity pricing.  The only effective way to not be subjected to these increases is to install a solar power system - removing your electricity costs and getting paid by the electricity providers!!

Contact Future Sustainability Today.

Steven Wardill
From: The Courier-Mail
June 01, 2011 12:00AM

Additional comments by Future Sustainability

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