EnergyAustralia has completed its annual review of electricity and gas tariffs for New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland residential and business customers in 2017/18.

EnergyAustralia’s Chief Customer Officer, Kim Clarke, said energy bills have increased across the country, with recent rises reflecting the impact of higher wholesale costs (the cost of buying electricity on behalf of customers) following 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.

The changes mean electricity prices will rise 7.3 per cent for the average residential customer in Queensland (about $2.50 a week), 19.6 per cent in New South Wales ($6.15 a week), and 19.9 per cent in South Australia ($7.50 a week). 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).

“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 recent federal Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market. Success, she said, means delivering three things: reliable, affordable and lower emissions energy for everyone in Australia.

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

“A sensible next step is for governments to engage industry and other stakeholders on the Finkel package of reforms to discuss the best way forward.

In the meantime, Ms Clarke said EnergyAustralia would continue to support development of a modern mix of energy technology, including wind and solar projects in Australia’s eastern states as well as “smart” solar and battery products.

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