Regional NSW pays most for power

FIGURES released on state-wide electricity price hikes could have residents on the Mid North Coast wondering if they’re getting the rough end of the deal.

An independent assessment of power pricing has found regional power provider Country Energy has passed on the highest price increases to customers in Australia.

The State Government has blamed the ageing power grid for price rises, yet this year households have paid on average 20.8 per cent more for electricity.

In dollar terms that’s an increase of around $296 on the average power bill, CEO of Switchwise.com.au, Shaun Johnson said.

The independent energy price comparer says around half of the retail price rises are funding improvements in the electricity network’s reliability.

“Significant increases in the wholesale costs incurred by Energy Australia, Integral Energy and Country Energy in purchasing electricity are also significant contributors to the price increases,” Mr Johnson said.

“Customers in Country Energy’s network area have seen the greatest dollar increases in their electricity bills by $305 to $321 per year.

“Regional NSW households now pay the highest prices in Australia for their electricity. Up to 28.8 per cent more for electricity each year compared with other NSW households,” he said.

A Country Energy spokesperson said the company is committed to minimising the impact of any price rise on customers.

"We continue to offer payment advice, customer support and energy efficiency advice, including Country Support, our industry leading hardship program and our dedicated energy efficiency advice line 1800 ENERGY."

"I encourage customers to call us at anytime in relation to energy efficiency or if they have concerns with their bill so as we can work with them to resolve their concerns," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Mr Johnson says while price hikes have hurt household budgets, the benefits to customers are new product offerings and discounts offered by competitors.

“It is now more important than ever that consumers compare their current energy supplier to other offers available in the market to make sure they are getting the best deal available,” he said.



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