Many Gippslanders will be experiencing bill shock this month as new electricity contract offers arrive and the Essential Service Commission lifting the Victorian Default Offer prices by 25 per cent.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said he was aware that energy companies have begun advising Gippsland consumers of electricity rate rises as high as 35 per cent.
“Like many Gippslanders, I have received emails from my electricity and gas companies this week informing me of the impending price hikes,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Indeed, one of my constituents has forwarded me their email advising that their electricity is forecast to rise nearly $1700 for the year!
“This is yet another blow to the average Victorian who is just trying to make ends meet under a state government that continues to allow the cost of living to skyrocket.”
Mr O’Brien said the $250 Power Saving Bonus was a band-aid fix that for many households will not even make a dent in covering their rate increases.
“While the one-off payment is certainly better than nothing, it fails to come close to addressing the underlying issues causing rising power bills.
“The Andrews Labor Government’s failure to ensure affordable, reliable energy for Victorian households has left household budgets bleeding.
“The unnecessary early closure of Hazelwood started the trend and we now have Energy Australia accelerating the closure of Yallourn power station to mid-2028 and AGL bringing forward the closure date of its Loy Yang A plant from 2048 to 2035.
“This at a time when the government has failed in transmission planning which has left some renewable energy producers in the state unable to connect to the grid.
“In addition to this, those who rely on wood heating to keep them warm will take another hit with firewood prices anticipated to increase following the Government’s announcement that the native timber industry shut down will be brought forward to 1 January 2024.”
Mr O’Brien said anyone requiring assistance applying for the $250 Power Saving Bonus should visit his electorate office at 54B Cunninghame St, Sale between 9-4.30pm weekdays with a copy of their most recent energy bill.