It's getting harder and harder to keep the lights on in Gympie
It's getting harder and harder to keep the lights on in Gympie Scott Kovacevic

It's not just you - Gympie is paying more for power

THE numbers speak for themselves and the outlook isn't good - ratepayers in Gympie could be paying up to a fifth more in electricity prices.

The Australian Energy Regulators' price-check website shows energy prices for inner-Brisbane suburbs and homes in the Gympie Region have a considerable disparity.

Let's take a look at the difference on a completely level playing field:

A four-person household with a single rate tariff, no controlled hot water load, no pool and no gas mains using 6,970kWh (kilowatt hours) per year.

In Gympie, the cheapest option on a single rate would be $2,335 - in Coorparoo for example the same consumption at the same home would cost $1,962. It's an increase of 19.01 per cent, but unfortunately there's more hurt in store for local ratepayers.

"On top of this, power bill pain is made much greater in Regional Queensland due to the need to use air-conditioning during the summer," Jennifer Brownie from Queensland Electricity Users Network (QEUN) said.

"In the last two years, the Queensland Government increased power bills in Regional Queensland by more than 6 per cent for homes and a massive 15 per cent or more for regional businesses."

Concerns about business owners' ability to pay their bills in full and on time are growing as well.

READ HERE: Kilkivan family's struggle to keep the power running

QEUN's survey of regional businesses found 49 per cent of responders had a high level of concern a bout paying their bills, with a further 22 per cent saying they were extremely concerned.

"One thing worse than not being able to pay your home power bill, is losing your job because your boss can't pay his power bills," Ms Brownie said.

"The survey shows regional jobs are being lost but we are at the precipice of losing substantially more jobs."

However, there may be some hope on the distant horizon with the Turnbull Government's plan to address the energy woes experienced across the country.

Current estimates show potential savings of up to $400 per year with the National Energy Guarantee, set to be introduced in 2020.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the savings were far greater than what had been initially estimated.

"The National Energy Guarantee will generate significant savings," he said.

"The benefits will flow through the entire economy."

The announcement comes as 16 of Australia's peak business and energy bodies urge state governments to back the scheme.

In the meantime however, QEUN has taken aim at the Palaszczuk Government.

"[They're] using the power bills of regional Queenslanders and their ownership of energy assets as a tax," Ms Brownie said.

"This has to stop."

Gympie Times


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