Power bill surge on the horizon

The Default Market Offer (DMO), released on Wednesday 15 March by the Australian Energy Regulator, shows NSW households will experience energy bill increases of up to $463 while small businesses will see their bills rise by up to $858, a price increase that State Treasurer Matt Kean promised would not happen.


The increase comes after last year's market turmoil, which included coal plant outages.


Australians on the east coast were hit by power shortages, and the widespread blackouts residents were warned of were only averted when the energy regulator (the Australian Energy Market Operator, or AEMO) intervened.

17 March 2023



HOUSEHOLDS and businesses on the Central Coast will see their power bills surge by at least 20 per cent and could even rise by as much as 23 per cent in the middle of winter. The Australian Financial Review's Business Summit that electricity prices are set to jump from July 1.


This price rise comes as another blow to NSW families and businesses who are experiencing a cost of living crisis under the Liberals. It comes as households and businesses are already battling sky-high cost of living pressures as inflation and interest rate rises bite the budget.


Matt Kean promised to reduce energy prices by $130 for households and $430 for businesses this year, yet today NSW families are finding out their bills will increase by more than that in the coming year alone.


The reality is energy prices are up almost 40 per cent since 2015, and 26 per cent in the last six months alone.


The Australian Energy Regulator has made comments recently to suggest prices would increase on top of the 18 per cent price rise on the default market offer last year.


This latest price increase is going to be a major contributor to the cost of living and inflation and will adversely impact on many Central Coast families and pensioners, who are already struggling to pay mortgages and make ends meet. And many families could face a bleak winter, unable to turn on the heat to warm their homes.


The ever-increasing energy prices are a major contributor to inflation and unless they are reigned in it will put even more pressure on charities and other agencies who will experience a greater demand, than already, for financial help.


Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch said "A re-elected NSW Liberal and Nationals Government will slash energy bills by $250 and help households unlock up to $400 in further savings by switching to a better deal.


"The NSW Energy Bill Saver program will allow households to receive $250 off their energy bills by simply comparing their current energy deal."


Shadow Minister for the Central Coast David Harris said "Labor has a comprehensive plan to address the longer term power prices.


"Households on income support, pensioners and Seniors Health Card holders and those receiving family tax benefits will receive $500 between State Labor and the Commonwealth."


Jihad Dib, NSW Shadow Minister for Energy & Climate Change, said that a Labor Government will help ease the cost of rising electricity bills for 320,000 eligible small businesses and 1.6 million eligible NSW families and households.


Under Labor’s plan a $485 million Energy Relief Fund will help lower power bills and fight inflation by offering $250 rebates to households and $315 to small businesses. "Matched with a Commonwealth Government relief scheme, 320,000 eligible small businesses will save $630," David Harris said.


When combined with federal relief, Labor’s small business offering virtually wipes out the energy increase. Under the Liberals, small businesses are left out in the cold with no help on offer.


“Matt Kean promised to reduce energy prices, and he’s broken that promise, as energy prices for households and small businesses surge under him,” said Shadow Minister Dib.


“Matt Kean can blame anyone he likes but he must front up and accept that under his watch, families and businesses are doing it tougher than ever before.”


David Harris said that the Liberals have no credibility when it comes to energy prices. "They told us that privatisation would lower prices but it certainly hasn't," he said. "Instead, multi-national corporations have made millions extra in profits."


"Vales Point Power Station was sold for $1 million only to then see it sold for $200 million seven years later - a cruel hoax on taxpayers," David Harris said.


So, why are our electricity prices skyrocketing? - unexpected failures from ageing coal-fired power stations, low gas supply, and a lack of urgency in adapting to renewables, are among the drivers of sky-high power generation prices and shortfalls in supply. Many experts have said it's a crisis years in the making.


Jihad Dib confirmed that a Minn’s Government will establish the NSW Energy Security Corporation, a state owned-body that will accelerate investment in renewable energy assets that will deliver cleaner and more reliable energy and help keep the lights on.


Mr Dib said “a Labor Government will protect our state’s assets from privatisation, and guard against severe price shocks.”

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