Shocking cost of electricity

THE region’s residents have been shocked by the soaring price of electricity, with the average household bill jumping about $250 per year in the last year.

Gympie households pay an average of $1335 a year to use about 8030 kilowatt hours of electricity.

A special investigation into the state’s yearly power costs and consumption by The Gympie Times showed Sunshine Coast residents are paying $1800 for the same amount of electricity.

Jenny McIntosh’s family of four has been electricity conscious over the last year and despite the rising costs are handling the budget well.

“I pay onto the electricity every two weeks and by the time the bill comes in there is not much left to pay,” she said.

Her average bill is $350 per quarter.

The family has air conditioning, doesn’t use a dryer and has installed energy efficient light bulbs where possible.

They also turn off lights when they leave a room and have taken advantage of the government’s insulation scheme.

Her two boys Ryan, 14 and Lachlan, 11 watch TV in the dark but the family hasn’t started turning off all their appliances at the wall.

The investigation revealed Ipswich residents use the most power – a massive 10,893kWh on average – and are paying the same amount as the Sunshine Coast, around $1800 a year.

Most places in the state are on par. Warwick, Toowoomba, Fraser Coast and Bundaberg residents use about 6000kWh and pay about $1100 a year.

Member for Gympie David Gibson said Queenslanders had payed more for electricity ever since the government opened up the industry to private companies to make it more “competitive”.

He said with four kids at home the Gibson family was starting to think about ways to reduce their electricity consumption.

“Even how we use the dryer – we’ve started not washing when the weather is bad,” he said.

“If I’m doing it, I would hate to think how hard it is for families on a single fixed income.”

Gympie Times

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