Australian Households are warned to brace for rising power bills as wholesale electricity prices more than double
Welcome to Net Zero: Australian Households are warned to brace for rising power bills as wholesale electricity prices more than double
Sky News, 29 April 2022
Wholesale electricity prices are more expensive this year compared to 2021 with the price hike expected to be passed onto families already struggling with cost of living pressures.
Households are being warned of higher power bills in 2022 and 2023. Official figures reveal electricity prices have doubled in the past year – setting up another cost of living fight between the Prime Minister and Anthony Albanese – who have both pledged to keep costs down.
Households battling the rising cost of living are being warned to brace for skyrocketing power bills as electricity prices more than doubled over the past year.
The report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) shows wholesale electricity jumped 141 per cent to $87 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in the first quarter of 2022, compared to $36 MWh at the same time last year.
In Queensland alone record demand saw wholesale prices surge to $150 MWh for the quarter – the second highest rate the state has seen for any quarter in over 20 years.
The prices are expected to flow onto consumers with the wholesale price of energy accounting for 30 to 40 per cent of a household’s power bill.
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The AEMO said the combination of coal generator outages, an increase in demand due to heatwaves and costly fossil fuel production were behind the latest price hikes.
Violette Mouchaileh, AEMO’s Executive General Manager Reform Delivery, said northern-states were hardest hit because of coal-fire outages putting pressure on supply.
“Wholesale prices in Queensland and NSW were again significantly higher than in southern states,” Ms Mouchaileh said.
“This was due to the larger price-setting role of black coal generation and system security constraints limiting daytime electricity transfers from Victoria into NSW, despite an average energy price difference of $48/MWh.”
The latest figures come as an election debate ramps up over the pressure of the rising cost of living.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has claimed his government has delivered “affordable, reliable energy” and warned power bills would be driven up under Labor’s energy policy.
“That’s why over the last two years we’ve been able to cut the cost of electricity by 8 per cent, and since I became prime minister it’s fallen by over 9 per cent,” he said on Thursday.
“When Labor were in power, electricity prices doubled. They increased by over 100 per cent, an average annual increase of over 12 per cent.”
Meanwhile, Labor’s Jim Chalmers said the energy spike is a “cost of living crisis” which happened under the Morrison Government.
“Power prices are going up, healthcare’s becoming harder to access and harder to afford, groceries are going through the roof, petrol is unaffordable for a lot families right across the board, there are cost of living pressures and this is a cost of living crisis on Scott Morrison’s watch,” he said in a Friday press conference.