Australia’s soaring energy costs, there’s barely a family in the country that hasn’t seen their bills skyrocket by hundreds of dollar recently.

But now the definitive guide, why is it happening and how it’s possible to wind back some of these costs and take control.

“I was shocked, absolutely shocked, I, it took me a while to think, what’s going on here?” said Melbourne mum Kelly Phillips.

Kelly is using the same television, the same computer and the same fridge as last year but this years power bill is alarmingly different.

Her bill for last year was just under $600, a year later it has gone up to $915, an increase of approximately 50%. To be fair, it was a very cold winter and Kelly does have a young son, even so the actual rate has risen by 18%.

“It’ ridiculous, peak rates is when I’m using it the most, 18% jump, it’s not justified, it’s ridiculous,” Kelly said.

“I’m quite frustrated, pretty angry, but what can you do?” said Robert Vargas of Sydney. His power bill went from $270 to $1,300 in just 9 months, that’s a 5 fold increase.

“I feel quite frustrated that it has gone up as much as it had and I really don’t know what to do about it to be quite honest. I come home now and instead of enjoying myself I just turn things off as I go around the house to try and not get a bill that’s the same.”

So, why are power prices rising so steeply? Deregulation of the industry was supposed to mean cheaper power, but other factors are stopping that.

First, an increasing population, bigger households with more appliances, plus heat-waves and cold-snaps all result in a surge in electricity demand.

Add to that the fact no new power stations are being built, there’s a lack of supply. Investment in infrastructure to improve network reliability of supply is costly and throw in the Federal Government’s mandatory ‘Renewable Energy Target’ scheme, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a cost and you have expensive power.

“The cost of electricity will increase consistently over the next decade,” said Ben Freund of GoSwitch.com.au.

Australians have been zapped with about a 10% increase in their power bills in the last few years. The bad news is they’re set to rise by a staggering 100% in the next three years. The good news is, there is something you can do about it.

“Almost everyone is paying too much for their power bills because very few consumers are on the cheapest plan available,” said Ben Freund.

“There are multiple providers around and that’s the good thing about the deregulation that we’ve been through. If you’re not happy with the provider you’ve got today, you can look at going to another provider. So there is an answer to it, you can do something about this,” said Steven Mickenbecker from Canstar Blue.

Source: A Current Affair.

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