Shocked into action
TONY Hadaway of Gateway Village, Grafton, was "just staggered" when he opened this month's power bill.
"In six months my electricity bill will have increased by $250."
However to combat the rises Tony has undertaken measures to reduce his electricity consumption.
The largest increase on Tony's bill was the service availability charge, which increased by just under 30%.
Service availability charges are used by power companies to fund upgrades and maintenance of powerlines and wires. Tony's service availability charge has increased from just 48 cents per day in 2007 to $1.25 per day in 2012.
Refusing to be left powerless, Tony has made a number of changes to reduce his power usage. These include not turning the air-conditioning or heating on as frequently and only turning the hot water system on when the tank is empty.
He also switched his stove and oven from electricity to gas which saved him as much as $25 a quarter. And cleverly, Tony started turning appliances off at the power point. Tony pointed out that rises in power bills are inevitable and reducing our consumption seems to be the only real approach to avoid a whopping bill.
An Origin Energy representative contacted Tony after these issues were raised but only to say government regulations, especially the carbon tax were responsible for the price increases.
Tony says prices have increased drastically over the last four years and the company is just leaning on the carbon tax to justify its price hikes, "their mentality seems to be just blame Julia".