81% of Australians worried about energy costs

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  • Half of Australians support carbon trading scheme
  • Costs for businesses to remain high in the short term
  • Origin slapped with $20,000 fine

A new consumer survey shows that 81% of Australians are worried about rising electricity costs.

Politicians have taken time out in the energy cost debate due to the unfolding flooding crisis in Queensland, but are very concerned. The issue of rising electricity prices is the biggest pain spot for Australians according the CHOICE’s Consumer Pulse survey.

81% of Australians are concerned about rising energy costs, with 52% being ‘very concerned’

The Federal Government has announced a massive expansion of Snowy Hydro, as well as one-off gas supply deals. There have also been state initiatives, such as the ones announced in South Australia, to increase production and supply. While this will help in the long run, the harsh reality is that these projects will take years to come to fruition, and in the meantime, the liberalised energy market will continue to experience high volatility with spot prices and inflated futures prices.

Businesses are still particularly at risk and the only way to shield against astronomical price increases is to act now. Leading Edge experts can help you analyse your consumption patterns and reduce waste. We can also help you with solar panel tendering, group electricity tendering and more.

The government has also announced a probe into potential price gouging and fixing by the Big Three, which should lead to a moratorium on price spikes. However, this is not leading to prices going down in the short term. The inquiry will scrutinise the behaviour of electricity retailers and examine why competition hasn’t resulted in lower prices. A final report will be due on 30 June 2018.

The numbers speak for themselves… a staggering 81% of households on a national level are worried about prices.

South Australia was the state most concerned with the cost of household electricity prices (84% concerned), followed closely by Western Australia at 82%. This compares to 75% in New South Wales.

Alarmingly, 52% of South Australians say they’re “very concerned” about household electricity, almost 20% higher than those in New South Wales.

Half of Australians support carbon trading scheme

Another poll, carried out by Essential has found that  half of Australians would support a carbon emissions trading scheme in the electricity sector as a way to encourage more investment in renewable energy.

Almost half Australians support a carbon emissions scheme, if it would lead to more investment in renewables

Support is strongest among Greens and Labor voters, but there is also 46 per cent of coalition supporters in favour.

Almost one in three coalition voters opposed such a scheme, while a similar amount didn’t know.

The government ruled out imposing an emissions intensity scheme on the electricity, but since then, a growing list of business organisations, energy companies, state governments, and science organisations have called for a scheme.

It would set a benchmark amount for how much pollution can be emitted per unit of electricity, and let generators that exceed that amount buy credits from cleaner energy like renewables.

The Essential poll found that overall, 51 per cent of people surveyed were in support and 20 per cent opposed, with 29 per cent saying they didn’t know.

Origin slapped with $20,000 fine

Origin was fined for submitting the wrong data on water heating systems

Meanwhile, major power supplier Origin was slapped with a $20,000 fine for failing to accurately report data relating to water heating systems. The Australian Energy Regulator confirmed that it fined Origin for failing to submit correct data. It was eventually resubmitted four months late.

In a statement, Origin said the discrepancies were down to an error relating to the reporting of bulk hot water systems in December last year.

The company had breached the National Energy Retail Law by failing to submit accurate market performance data by the required date. Origin subsequently resubmitted the correct data, four months after it was due.

Regulator Chairman Paula Conboy explained: “A key part of our role as the energy regulator is to monitor and report on energy markets and ensure retailers are meeting their obligations.”

She said the accurate and timely submission of performance data by retailers helps paint a clearer picture of what is going on in the homes of Australian energy customers.

The data is also used by the regulator and others to shape policy decisions, for market analysis as well as for other regulatory functions.

Energy costs are not going down – Act now to shield your business

The Australian Energy Market Commission has projected that this year, the average household bill will rise between $28 and $204. Leading Edge offers a suite of services which can help you shield your business from further price hikes. We offer Retail Energy Tenders, Invoice Analysis & Verification Services, Energy Reporting & Metering Systems, Energy Efficiency Projects and Solar Energy Tenders.

You can read more about Leading Edge’s expert advice and services in this section of our website.

About Leading Edge

Leading Edge Energy is an energy cost reduction consultancy. We assist our clients by applying a holistic lens to your energy costs whereby we guide you through the complete energy cost reduction cycle from rates minimization to energy efficiency, solar generation and battery storage.

Our initial review and assessment process is a complimentary service and you are not obliged to accept any offer that we recommend to you.

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