EnergyAustralia announces hike in electricity prices

EnergyAustralia has blamed the closure of coal-fired power stations for the significant hike in electricity prices.

The major energy retailer announced an almost 20 per cent jump in electricity prices for New South Wales (19.6 per cent) and South Australia (19.9 per cent), and a 7.3 per cent increase for Queensland.

The changes will see Queenslanders paying an extra $130 a year, while NSW consumers will be slogged with an extra $319.80 a year, and SA taking the worst hit with a $390 hike.

For small-to-medium-size businesses, electricity will increase 11.3 per cent in Queensland (about $10.75 a week), 19.9 per cent in New South Wales ($17.60 a week) and 19.9 per cent in South Australia ($18.60 a week).

EnergyAustralia chief customer officer Kim Clarke said energy bills have increased across the country due to the closure of large coal-fired power stations, increased demand for gas by liquefied natural gas projects in Queensland and reliability issues with some big generators.

“This is bad news for families and businesses and absolutely not what they wanted to hear,” Ms Clarke said.

“Today, getting electricity to our customers costs more right across the energy chain.

“In the past 12 months alone, wholesale prices for both electricity and gas have surged, almost doubling in some states.”

Ms Clarke said it was critical that government and industry take time to consider the recommendations of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market.

“No one pretends it’s an easy fix but doing nothing means higher prices and less reliable energy for all customers,” she said.

“We think the Finkel Panel’s report is a good, solid blueprint for federal and state governments to work together on the bipartisan, national approach to energy we desperately need.”